Green Room

Newsright: Righthaven 2.0

posted at 7:58 pm on January 13, 2012 by

The legacy media has been trying desperately to figure out a way to charge bloggers and aggregators for republishing their content.  Remember when the AP wanted to charge for excerpts per word?  And then there was notorious copyright troll Righthaven, which was aggressively defended by the Las Vegas Review Journal as the method of “saving journalism” and which has since been sued out of existence.

Now we have Newsright – a “news registry” company which the Washington Post says aims “to convert unauthorized websites, blogs and other newsgathering services into paying customers.”  Let’s hope they learn from Righthaven’s mistakes and actually take Fair Use into account instead of just trying to bully bloggers out of existence.

The fact that about half of Newsright’s staff are lawyers makes that hope seem kind of futile, though.

How will Newsright’s service work?  NewsRight’s president and CEO, David Westin explains,

when an item is read on a browser, it sends a signal to the database in San Francisco that attaches the origin of the item, what website it appeared on, and the geographic area. Every time the item is used, the data is gathered and sent to publishers. The code attached to the piece specifies the publisher, keywords, dates, and the author. It’s up to the publisher as to what they assign the code to. Initially most items were assigned to the complete document, but increasingly publishers are attaching once to the headline, once to the lead, and once to the text. This has the advantage of giving more nuanced reporting.

This, like SOPA, is a fairly bipartisan issue. Lefty David Sirota sums up blogger concerns well in this video.

“What I worry about is that it ends up being used as a financial weapon against those voices out there who are citing that information in order to challenge it, scrutinize it, and question it. That you can imagine a situation where let’s say a blogger is out there, or an independent journalist is out there citing, excerpting pieces of a widely cited, let’s say a New York Times story or other news publication story and debunking it, showing where it’s wrong. And that news organization doesn’t like that. Then that news organization calls up that independent journalist and says ‘You have to pay us for the privilege of excerpting our story.’ Now if that is allowed to stand you’ve potentially created the situation where the democratic, small-d freedom of questioning and challenging what’s in the public square incurs an undue financial penalty.”

All of these efforts are to solve the problem of the legacy media trying to navigate and survive in a new media world. But instead of following the Hollywood model of enforcing digital rights management in ways that make their product less useful to consumers, they might consider trying something completely different. An amusing comment from Marcus Carab at the Techdirt article provides one example:

Dear AP – for a tenth of what you are spending on all these lawyers, you could have set up a premium news service with banks of additional quotes & photos that didn’t run in the articles, early access to some stuff, etc. and offered it to all these same bloggers. Sincerely, An Actual Business Model

Recently in the Green Room:



Trackback URL


they might consider trying something completely different.

That would require that Dilbert is not an operations manual. Can’t have that.

SDN on January 13, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Cynical, moi?

SDN on January 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Oui, toi. But justifiably so. 🙂

Laura Curtis on January 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

So, Google should be terminated since none of the content is their own, right?

HopeHeFails on January 14, 2012 at 1:33 PM

So, Google should be terminated since none of the content is their own, right?

HopeHeFails on January 14, 2012 at 1:33 PM

That’s where the logic would take you.

gryphon202 on January 14, 2012 at 8:18 PM

HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2017, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint
Top Pick

Will they stay or will they go?

Top Pick

I can’t imagine what I was thinking when I said that

Rocking the boat majorly

Big government never contracts. It only grows more powerful

It’s only a “ban” until it becomes inconvenient

The decline and fall of Obamacare and the AHCA

Jazz Shaw Jun 24, 2017 8:31 AM

This was all over before it began

Fixing crime in America is a complicated issue

Taylor Millard Jun 23, 2017 8:31 PM

Cops alone won’t solve it.

Victim’s father was President Maduro’s supervisor back when he was a bus driver.

Democrats forgot all about the “era of good feelings”

“Bernie and Jane Sanders have lawyered up.”

“the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey.”

Winning isn’t everything. It is the only thing

Trump signs VA reform bill into law

John Sexton Jun 23, 2017 2:41 PM

“What happened was a national disgrace, and yet some of the employees involved in these scandals remained on the payrolls.”

A new era of something.

“…died suddenly in less than a week just after his return to the U.S.”

The shortsightedness of “Denounce and Preserve”

Taylor Millard Jun 23, 2017 12:11 PM

Pragmatism for the sake of pragmatism doesn’t always work.

Perhaps if you threw in a new car?

Gay marriages still growing, but not as fast

Andrew Malcolm Jun 23, 2017 10:31 AM

More, but not as quickly.

Should’ve stuck with the pirate gig. It was working for him

The battle for the rubble of Raqqa is underway

Andrew Malcolm Jun 23, 2017 8:51 AM

Won’t be much left.

Your list of demands is a publicity stunt

“what happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives…”

“The jobs are still leaving. Nothing has stopped.”

Bad vendor. Bad! No cookie!

“The Corps is just starting to grapple with the issues the court has identified.”

“So you want me to sing my praises, is that what you’re saying?”

Why would we possibly want that?

“I mean he sold our country to The Russians.”

I could think of someone else you might want to ask about…

“You can ask a hundred people what hate speech is and you get a thousand different answers”

Trump: I never made any recordings of Comey

Allahpundit Jun 22, 2017 2:01 PM


Hackers stole private data from election databases

John Sexton Jun 22, 2017 1:21 PM

“90,000 records stolen by Russian state actors contained drivers license numbers”

Failure to protect the city

Big man on the Middle Eastern campus