That’s the title of an article on TorrentFreak about how the big news media will sue little sites for copyright infringement, but will happily infringe, themselves, knowing that the little guy can’t sue them. Here’s part of the article:
When it comes to copyright, we’re constantly hearing how the big companies are spending untold amount of money to ‘create’ content, only for it to be ‘stolen’ by people downloading it. Less often we hear of the reverse; big companies infringing the copyright of regular people. But it’s more common than you might think.
Let’s take a look at two of these stories that surfaced recently, starting with the BBC.
When the BBC reported on the riots in London, it frequently used pictures that were shared by Twitter users witnessing the events. This wouldn’t be that bad as the BBC would at least credit the people who took the pictures. Yet, in its reporting, the BBC completely failed to attribute any of the images it used, instead attributing them to Twitter.
When a complaint was made, the first response back included the following outrageous statement:
I understand you were unhappy that pictures from Twitter are used on BBC programmes as you feel it may be a breach of copyright. Twitter is a social network platform which is available to most people who have a computer and therefore any content on it is not subject to the same copyright laws as it is already in the public domain. The BBC is aware of copyright issues and is careful to abide by these laws. (emphasis added)
Everyone reading this knows that to be untrue and the BBC did too, as Chris Hamilton (BBC News Social Media Editor) later admitted.
It’s not the position of BBC News, he said, adding that that the BBC tries to clear photos before using them but if there are time constraints that may not be possible. Unfortunately, UK law doesn’t allow fair dealing exceptions for this at present. So time constraints or not, it’s still a copyright violation.
And the BBC is not the only major news outfit to bend the copyright rules this month ….