Push to licence cut-and-paste publishing
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.