By Kevin O'Keefe

News Publishers Have All the Protection They Need, Finds U.S. Copyright Office

The change in news publishing in this country was made all the more clear this morning.

The U.S. Copyright Office issued its report denying additional copyright protection for press publishers.


Despite online news aggregators, online use of news by third parties, including bloggers, and declining news publisher revenues, the Office found existing protection to be adequate.

While acknowleding that adequate funding for journalism may be at risk, the Office found the press has significant protections under existing law, and the challenges of funding journalism in the Internet era are not copyright-specific.

Six U.S. senators had sought protection akin to that given to press by the European Union where news publishers may demand payment for third-party online use of their content, specifically from large news aggregators.

Though bloggers were not the subject of the Office’s report, bloggers will continue to benefit from the way news is now reported and shared in this country.

It was bloggers after all who kicked off a new age of journalism with a form of link journalism by quoting sources at length in block quotes and sharing their own insight and commentary.

Bloggers have also benefited for twenty years from the use of RSS news aggregators to get niched focused content to blog and share. Aggregators will continue.

News publishing has changed forever. Ironically, the average of the six senators looking to retain the past was about 70 years old.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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