FreePress.net is an interesting site. It’s an anti-corporate, anti-big media operation. Ironically, without big media, it wouldn’t have any news. All of it is copied from professional media outlets. They run this disclaimer at the bottom of the lifted stories:
This article is copyrighted material, the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a â€˜fair useâ€™ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Do you think that covers them?
I’ve actually seen this word-for-word on a number of blogs that basically scrape content from other outlets and post the entire content.
My theory is that no major media outlet has the inclination to actually take this “fair use” to court to challenge what looks a lot like wholesale copyright violation.
Of course, with the DMCA, they don’t necessarily have to go that route, and instead send a cease-and-desist letter, but again, that’s more money than they’re probably willing to spend on this.
To answer your question, no, I don’t think it covers them, but there’s no real guiding court decision right now.
I have no problem with a short excerpt of the material, with a link leading back to the original, but copying the entire article gives blogs a bad name and invites the kind of legislative and legal scrutiny that isn’t going to help anyone.