Push to li­cence cut-and-paste pub­lish­ing

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Adam Bell

LO­CAL coun­cils are mov­ing to sup­port the fu­ture of qual­ity grass­roots jour­nal­ism in their com­mu­ni­ties by sup­port­ing the en­force­ment of copy­right.

Com­mu­nity news sto­ries writ­ten by lo­cal re­porters are regularly “cut and pasted’’ to coun­cil web­sites, news­let­ters and re­ports.

This copy­ing is against the law and is usu­ally done with lit­tle or no at­tri­bu­tion or li­cens­ing.

A na­tional sur­vey by the Copy­right Agency has un­cov­ered at least 70 coun­cils in­fring­ing copy­right to the value of $600,000.

In one of the worst cases, a large coun­cil in Syd­ney pub­lished more than 440 ar­ti­cles on its web­site with­out per­mis­sion.

The breaches have trig­gered a re­sponse by a bloc of coun­cils seek­ing to sup­port lo­cal news­pa­pers on whom they rely for qual­ity jour­nal­ism.

Copy­right Agency chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Adam Suck­ling said the sim­ple so­lu­tion was for coun­cils to take out an an­nual copy­right li­cence.

“Not only does it fa­cil­i­tate trans­parency and the cir­cu­la­tion of ideas, which is fun­da­men­tal to a healthy democ­racy, it is also good gov­er­nance and will re­duce the risk of le­gal ac­tion,” he said.

The cost of a li­cence de­pends on the num­ber of users.

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