Tuesday, 16 May 2006

Bloggers: Apple, journalism, deep linking etc

Many people love to hate Microsoft, but Apple doesn't seem to be doing itself too many favours with the blogging community at the moment..

Bloggers as journalists, and protecting our sources

Apple have sued bloggers to try to get them to reveal their sources, in relation to leaks about a product called Asteroid.

Personally I think bloggers should have the same legal protection journalists have, because many bloggers are in fact journalists these days. The court will pronounce in a few months; let's hope the law catches up with the reality.

What links can you post in your blog? Deep linking, copyright etc

Separately Apple also sued the Something Awful website for posting a link to an internal Apple service manual hosted on yet another, independent, site. While Out-law, where I read about this, said that Apple's most obvious solution would have been to get the site hosting the manual to delete it, they mentioned a few useful things about linking.

If the manual had been posted on the other site in breach of Apple's copyright, anyone following the link to download it would also be infringing copyright and so, they said, it would be wise for Something Awful to remove the link.

Now deep linking, i.e. linking direct to a webpage or file deep within a site or blog rather than to the front page or main page, seems to be a bit of a difficult one - it's obviously more convenient for readers if you can link direct to the webpage or file that's of interest, rather than making them click around trying to find the exact bit you're talking about.

The Out-law article pointed out that a US court had said most deep linking won't breach copyright - but if you link to material which itself infringes copyright, the copyright owner could try to do you for contributing to copyright infringement by providing a link to help others to download copyrighted material; and similarly a Norwegian court has fined a student for linking to MP3 files because that helped others find copyright-infringing material.

Anyway, the Out-law site says deep linking is mostly OK - but not if you link to dodgy material (like copyright material that's been posted without the permission of the copyright owner), or maybe include systematic links as news aggregation or "scraping" services do.

Apple v Apple funny

Only a tenuous Apple connection here, but I couldn't resist a mention of the BBC news story about BBC News 24 mistakenly interviewing, on live TV, a black guy called Guy, who was at the BBC for a job interview (data support cleanser), instead of a white guy called Guy (different surname), editor of newswireless.net, about Apple v Apple - yet another court case involving Apple. The (unnamed, presumably to protect the guilty) BBC producer who went to collect editor Guy from the BBC reception had supposedly even seen a photo of the man too!

Check out the video of poor Guy doing his best to field the questions... (direct link doesn't seem to work, follow the link from the BBC page).

1 comment:

kirk said...

I just saw a story on 'the two Guys' on CNN. The look on the 'wrong guys' face when they introduced him in the interview is priceless. Very funny stuff.