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Republishing excerpts in blogging; Wiki on 'scraping' and 'simulated' human browsing

From Martha Neil's article (published 3/4/09, the ABA Journal Newsletter online) flagging a New York Times report on the apparent upward trend in copyright infringement lawsuits directed at bloggers and other on line publishers: How Much Excerpting is Too Much? 'Scraping' Suits May Hone Fair Use Rules (1):

It is considered a clear fair use of copyrighted material when bloggers excerpt a quotation and link to the online publication that initially printed it....If federal lawmakers don't act to revise the statutory fair-use standard, copyright litigation is likely to develop the specific rules that apply to Internet republication.

Not having read this NYT article, I linked over to it and the author's question(2):
The legal disputes are emblematic of a larger question that has emerged from the Internet’s link economy. The editors of many Web sites, including ones operated by the Times Company, post excerpts from competitors’ content from time to time. At what point does excerpting from an article become illegal copying? Courts have not provided much of an answer. In the United States, the copyright law provides a four-point definition of fair use, which takes into consideration the purpose (commercial vs. educational) and the substantiality of the excerpt...[by Brian Stelter published 3/1/09]

For info. purposes, the Wiki's take on 'scraping':
Web scraping (or Web harvesting, Web data extraction) is a computer technique of extracting information from websites using specially coded software programs. Usually, such software programs simulate human exploration of the Web by either implementing low-level Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), or embedding certain full-fledged Web browsers, such as the Internet Explorer (IE) and the Mozilla Web browser. Web scraping is closely related to Web indexing, which indexes Web content using a bot and is a universal technique adopted by most search engines. In contrast, Web scraping focuses more on the transformation of unstructured Web content, typically in HTML format, into structured data that can be stored and analyzed in a central local database or spreadsheet. Web scraping is also related to Web automation, which simulates human Web browsing using computer software. Exemplary uses of Web scraping include online price comparison, weather data monitoring, website change detection, Web research, Web content mashup and Web data integration. (3)

(1)http://www.abajournal.com/news/how_much_excerpting_is_too_much_scraping_suits_may_hone_fair_use_standard
(2)http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/02/business/media/02scrape.html?_r=1
(3)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_scraping
(4)http://www.citmedialaw.org/about Neill's article links also to:The Citizen Media Law Project (CMLP).The mission of the CMLP is to provide legal assistance, education, and resources for individuals and organizations involved in online and citizen media, [providing] research and advocacy on free speech, newsgathering, intellectual property, and other legal issues related to online speech. CMLP is jointly affiliated with Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the Center for Citizen Media.We seek to build a community of lawyers, academics, journalists, and others who are interested in facilitating citizen participation in online media and in protecting the legal rights of those engaged in speech on the Internet.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 25, 2009 10:14 AM.

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