The copyright debate

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The Economist is running a (moderated) public debate on copyright that should be interesting to those involved in electronic publishing, particularly on the Web. In light of recent attempts by the AP to implement a rather draconian copyright policy this is an issue worth following. AP has tried going after some bloggers and artists, so far without much success. Nonetheless, their published fees for online quoting of excerpts of their content are absurd:

Words Fees
5 – 25 $12.50
26 – 50 $17.50
51 – 100 $25.00
101 – 250 $50.00
251 and up $100.00

I don’t mean to imply that they aren’t allowed to protect their intellectual property, particularly in unambiguous (albeit funny) situations, but if these kinds of fees are enforced, it will be prohibitively expensive for most publishers to even mention the titles of AP articles!

I can only hope that the solution that emerges from The Economist debate is a compromise rather than a polarized outcome like the DMCA.

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