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Posting supposedly paid-for content

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Gomer, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    A local radio personality who has scads of Facebook friends that I don't think read the paper posted a story of ours on his wall this morning. Problem is, it's not a link to our site. It's taken from a PDF which you can only get via a paid subscription.

    I'm happy that him posting it means more people knowing the story. Heck, maybe it'll turn into more subscriptions if they liked the story.

    On the other hand, we put a pay wall in because we value our product. Is there a legal or ethical problem with him doing this?

    I think either way I need to alert my bosses about this and let them handle it. Regardless, I'm curious what people here think about the situation.
  2. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    He took a pay-service item and posted it free of charge for everyone to use? Yeah, there's a problem with that.

    It's a violation of copyright, for one thing. And it's, at least technically speaking and on a very small scale, theft by conversion.

    You'd have an awfully hard time bringing any kind of legal action because, really, who gives a fuck? But it's a shady thing for him to do. He wouldn't like it if you reposted his radio show without his permission. Same thing.
  3. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    Of course, there's nothing on his radio show worth posting. Zing.

    Yeah, I felt it was a bit wrong. Not sure how you stop it though, unless we find a different way of distributing the paper other than through PDF's.
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    My paper's site is behind a paywall. I think that's a good thing, but the paper also has a new Web site in the works and apparently will add a social media presence whereas right now that presence is zilch. Don't know how you can be a player on FB, Twitter, etc., without being able to post full links to stories.
  5. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    Well, we post some content. In sports that means one story per day, though we might be writing two or three. The problem is when someone wants to link to a story that's behind a paywall. There's not even a link for it because the only place it exists online is in the PDF.
  6. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Writing as someone who used to work at a newspaper where all the PDFs were behind a pay wall, posting a PDF is a huge problem. We had links to four stories from the paper that could be read free of charge. If you wanted anything else, you had to subscribe to read them.

    I think a well placed phone call might do wonders when it comes to getting the radio personality to stop doing that. If it doesn't work and he does it again, then a cease and desist letter from a lawyer would probably scare the living shit out of him enough to get him to not do that again.
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