3 Count: Micronews

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: Associated Press to build news registry to protect content

First off today, in a story from last week that gained a lot of traction over the weekend, the AP recently announced that it was taking new steps to track its work over the Web, announce its rights to its work and, if needed, protect its content.

The new system will use a series of microformats to affix data to AP content. This information can be processed by AP-certified tools and will be included on all AP-authorized sites. This content will do many things, including allow the AP to track where their content is available and label their work for various kinds of use.

The information is a bit sketchy at the moment, especially around the technical details, but the system has already been much derided and has become the stuff of ridicule. Including at least one parody version of the AP’s chart, which is included as a link in the article above.

2: Copyright Law Worries Game Companies

Next up today, as the new “three strikes” law begins to take effect in South Korea, which threatens to disconnect both file sharers and Web sites after two warnings of copyright infringement, most copyright holders are cheering the change. However, video game companies, which have enjoyed a boost due to online buzz, are worried it might hurt their industry.

The reason is that the industry has been helped by users posting screenshots and videos from various games, something that is now illegal under the law. Violators could have their accounts suspended for up to six months.

This has the potential to seriously hurt the fan sites that have sprung up over the years remixing and reusing video game content, but in a way that helps the industry, rather than hurts it.

3: Pirate Party’s copyright reform cannon could sink copyleft

Finally today, the Pirate Party has drawn fire from a seemingly unlikely source, Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation.

Stallman recently pointed out that, if The Pirate party were to get its way and limit the term of copyright to just five years, that would cripple the open source movement by not requiring users to follow open source licenses after just five years. However, proprietary software, which is usually compiled before it is sent out and the source code is unavailable, would face no such restrictions.

Several proposals to address this issue have been made. One would make an exemption for open source software, an idea rejected by The Pirate Party. Another would be to force software creators to release the source code of their applications once they entered the public domain.

This conflict only serves to highlight the intricacies of copyright law and exactly how unattainable quick fixes are to the problem.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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