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Canadian Newspaper Charging $150 License Fee To Publish Excerpts 217

dakohli writes "Michael Geist has pointed out an interesting development at the National Post's website. 'If you try to highlight the text to cut and paste it, you are presented with a pop-up request to purchase a license if you plan to post the article to a website, intranet or a blog. The fee would be $150.' He notes that even if you are highlighting a 3rd party quote inside an article a pop-up asking if you want a license will appear. Mr Geist points out this might be contrary to Canadian Copyright Law's fair use provisions."
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Canadian Newspaper Charging $150 License Fee To Publish Excerpts

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  • Hmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @08:25PM (#43111449) Journal

    Obviously, it isn't exactly news that a number of copyright holders have...expansively optimistic... interpretations of what rights exactly they hold. Some of this seems to be pure self-righteous delusion. Some of it seems to be deliberate spin aimed at shoving the discourse(and state of law) in their preferred direction.

    In the specific case of talking about 'fair use', while trying to sell licenses, though, I have to wonder if they are incurring any responsibility... If a mechanic or a plumber gave you false advice as to the nature of the repairs you needed, in order to sell them to you, they'd be well into 'sleazy at best, open to legal action for fraud at worst' territory. Is it OK if you are pseudo-providing legal advice? (They would obviously deny being in the position of providing you with legal advice; but a 'here is when you need a license or you just might be unprotected when we sue you' statement sure sounds like legal advice to me...)

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @08:54PM (#43111713)
    More like, "My client has been using NoScript for years, and only enables Javascript when absolutely necessary to accomplish some task." We keep Javascript turned off for the same reason we keep Autorun disabled, security. Not that anyone should need a reminder, but a prominent global corporation once tried to exploit Autorun to enforce copyrights too: []
  • by TheEyes ( 1686556 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @09:00PM (#43111765)

    Good thing the DMCA wasn't enforced in that instance, otherwise it would have been illegal to fix your computer after Sony broke it with their rootkit.

  • by snowraver1 ( 1052510 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @09:27PM (#43111975)
    Hmm... That is rather interesting. Can you illegally circumvent a digital lock through inaction? By not running this script, or if we remember back to the Sony fiasco, by not running the autoplay root-kit, is that criminal?

    Are you supposed to wrap yourself in the chains that bind you?
  • by tftp ( 111690 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @10:06PM (#43112247) Homepage

    Hmm... That is rather interesting. Can you illegally circumvent a digital lock through inaction?

    As matter of fact, circumventing of locks, doors, gates, and other access control mechanisms is most commonly done by not going through them. Latin roots of the word mean "go around." Can't be much more obvious.

    For example: see a locked gate? Find a hole in the fence. See a locked safe? Find someone who knows the code. Have an encrypted DVD? Point a camera at the screen.

    In this case, noscript can be seen as a hacking tool because it modifies the programming that the web site sends to you. The characters of the content are to be seen together with the programming to create the presentation as you are expected to perceive it by the content creator.

    You cannot claim inaction because most browsers (and perhaps all that the site is designed for) run JS by default. You did act when you installed NoScript. The fact that you did it ahead of time changes nothing. Perhaps you won't be fined for using Lynx; but if you use FF and then load it with ad-blocking extensions then you acted plenty.

    If you disagree and claim that the ASCII content can and should be treated apart from the instructions on how to present it, then you will also have to claim that the encrypted DVD bits are to be seen as plaintext and the key - and as long as you have the technical ability to separate them you are in the clear. The DMCA seems to have a differing opinion on that.

    As an intermediate step, to muddy the water a bit more, you can imagine an HTML page that consists of the ciphertext of the content and of the JS that locally generates the plaintext. Will extraction of the plaintext be legal under the DMCA, if JS prevents you from right-clicking or selecting? In this case JS is even specially designed to inform you that copying is not free. Any copying you do will be explicitly against the license. And it can be argued that you accepted the license by accessing the site and copying the data. Don't like the license? Read, but you may not copy.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.