NZ Herald Premium Content Blog

November 9th, 2005 at 2:01 pm by David Farrar

Someone has set-up a blog and every day is cutting and pasting the premium content from the NZ Herald website into it. They presumably have paid $99 for annual access.

What they are doing is very wrong though. As much as I think it is a stupid decision of the NZ Herald, they own the intellectual property to their columns and the blog is basically theft – especially as it seeks to undermine a revenue stream for them.

I suspect the NZ Herald will get Blogspot to close the blog down. Of course the people doing it could just set up a new one – it is automated. If the NZ Herald get pissed off enough they could try and get Blogspot to reveal the IP addresses used to create and post content to the blog. This will lead back to the people doing it, unless they use cybercafes to do it.

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29 Responses to “NZ Herald Premium Content Blog”

  1. tim barclay () says:

    This is breach of copyrite cold and he is setting himself up for a huge claim by the Hearald. Their columnists apart from O’Sullivan, James, Gaynor are lightweight shit.

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  2. dim () says:

    Splendid. I’ve been really missing John Armstongs columns.

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  3. GPT () says:

    Dare I say it, Dim, but I have been missing those columns too.

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  4. Idiot/Savant () says:

    Yes, it’s a breach of copyright. That’s what the internet is good at. And I think it’ll be closed down quickly. But in the meantime, I’m going to be saving myself the effort of reading via the Herald’s search function, and instead read on the blog…

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  5. t selwyn () says:

    I hope it keeps popping up all over the place if they try to shut it down. Even under the dubious guise of quoting for review puposes where the commentary about each quote is hidden – that would be useful also.

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  6. mikey bill () says:

    I read the Herald’s headlines online early in the day, then go our for a coffee mid-morning to a cafe where I can read their copy for free. That way I never pay for any of the content, but still get to see if anything intersting is appearing.

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  7. David Farrar () says:

    Well done Nick – you lose. I had a bet with myself as to how long it would take an idiot to try and have a go. Only 80 minutes.

    The creators of Southpark have given blessing to digital copies online of their work. They are the only files I have ever stated (IIRC) I have downloaded. I have only stated I have seen WW. It may be that someone in the US posts me a videotape.

    But also regardless of the semantics you also miss the point. I have said publicly (and on TV) that people download TV shows because it is the only way they can get to see them in a timely fashion. I want TV studios to offer me a pay and download option and I and millions will take it up.

    What this person has done is very different. We all have the option of instant access online to the columns. We just have to pay for it. I don’t like having to pay for it, but I have that option.

    It is very dubious if downloading of TV episodes reduces revenue for TV studios. Some assert it increases revenue by generating fan enthusiasm.

    In the NZ Herald case there can be no doubt the blog is a direct threat to revenue. If it is allowed to continue, very few will pay for an nline subscription.

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  8. tim barclay () says:

    The Herald has every right to try and protect their copyright. I say why bother as the Age/SMH/Australian/Times/Washington Post and selected articles from the Economist and the Guardian etc etc etc are of far superior quality.

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  9. dim () says:

    I have only stated I have seen WW . . .

    And ‘Desperate Housewives’!

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  10. Murray () says:

    I prefer the print version of the Hearald anyway.

    I just wish they’d distribute it in rolls to save time.

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  11. David Farrar () says:

    Oh yes and DH. I admit I view early quite a few US TV programmes. I have been careful not to be explicit on how I get to see them.

    Incidentially I still watch them when they eventually show in NZ.

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  12. LMC () says:

    Everyone make such a fuss about online IP. If you pass around your print copy of the Herald to someone who didn’t pay for it, or lend someone a book, is that also theft?

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  13. dim () says:

    This might be a good time to hijack DPFs thread for myself:

    One of my summer projects is to build a PVR PC so I can record TV straight into hard disk, watch bittorrent downloads on my TV, pause and rewind TV in realtime ect ect. Anyone had any joy with this in New Zealand? Any hints or tips? Anyone?

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  14. Mike Parsons () says:

    David, you say, “the NZ Herald …own the intellectual property to their columns and the blog is basically theft – especially as it seeks to undermine a revenue stream for them.”

    But hasn’t the Herald deliberately undermined the revenue stream of their freelance columnists? It may be legal what the Herald has done, but I think it sucks.

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  15. Whig () says:

    I really don’t know what all the fuss is about. If you type the name of the columnist into the search engine on the site, you can read any so-called premium content you want for free.

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  16. Belt () says:

    “btw the WW Live “Debate” epsiode was such a let-down wasn’t it…”

    Oh great… my tape hasn’t arrived yet, thanks for the spoiler ;)

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  17. Hang0n () says:

    sounds more like u r teaching ppl how to do that, rather than criticizing.

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  18. Ryan () says:

    Could this be being done by the columnists themselves?

    If the sites are mirrored — spawning clones — it would be pretty difficult to do anything about it.

    Perhaps better still someone could set up an RSS feed of the Premium content, then it can be hosted and duplicated easily everywhere on the web.

    Poor APN.

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  19. Craig Ranapia () says:

    Well, David, it would be nice if APN made a gesture of good faith and started respecting the intellectual property by properly compensating columnists for electronic reproduction rights.

    OTOH, it pretty hard to feel much sympathy for those columnists who cheerfully admit they gave up on-line rights to their work. Perhaps freelancers will be a little smarter, and a lot more assertive, when their contracts come up for renewal?

    BTW, before there’s too much blogisphere pomposity about copyright theft does any blogger pay any MSM media outlet when cut-and-pasting their copyrighted intellectual property?

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  20. Ryan () says:

    Craig, good points.

    How for example does Leighton Smith of NewstalkZB — coincidently 50% owned by the owners of the NZ Herald — get away with cart blanche copy and pasting of other people’s content from other media outlets and then promoting his website as the recepticle of all knowledge.

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  21. David P () says:

    David: Er, having a friend video a US show and send you the tape is also a violation of copyright. Arguably purchasing a tape or a DVD and importing it in to NZ is as well, given region coding and other licensing efforts to stop you doing this.

    I’d agree with you that studio efforts to restrict electronic and other legitimate use of their product is stupid. But I’m guessing that copyright holders are allowed to act stupidly, if they wish.

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  22. Ben Wilson () says:

    I agree with David that it’s theft. I can’t see why anyone would bother with it. There’s so much news, so much reporting of the news, so many commentaries that the Herald’s one would have to be pretty good to pay for it. I’ve never personally felt that they were worth jack shit, and wouldn’t go out of my way to find them. These columnists are bloggers for grannies, and what they say usually reflects that.

    In fact, I can’t really see why anyone who uses the internet for news bothers with the MSM at all, other than when they can get it for free. Google will tell you what the news is, and several other places that have the same news, and you only have to go to blogs to get heaps more detailed analysis from the altruist of your choice. For instance, I learned of Rod Donald’s death far before anyone else I knew, and I read about it here, courtesy of DPF. Within about 20 minutes I had 100 times as much information about it than the single paragraph in the Herald, just by jumping to Frog (and keeping up here with the surprisingly nice commentary). And if I was a Herald subscriber I would have been waiting until the next morning to find out.

    When I was in Europe recently I kept up with the news using GPRS on my PDA. It was right there in my pocket, at all times. Not bad for $10 a month – to carry all the news in the world right in your pocket, right now. The fact that wikipedia also fits in there is just showing off.

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  23. zalian () says:

    David,

    So you are saying that you are illegally breaching copyright of American sitcoms (you should deny this of course) because they don’t provide the service you want. But as soon as they provide the service you want, you will act legally. Very convenient…

    The pot is calling the kettle black… no one has worked out how to do copyright in the digital age… and I don’t think anyone will.

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  24. David Farrar () says:

    Nick – yes the debate was a great let down. Too canned the throw about the rules thing.

    If one looks at copyright in strict black and white terms then yes it is technically an infringement to (for example) grab a copy of the Daily Show, even though it might never ever show in NZ. Likewise it is technically illegal to copy a music track from a CD to an IPod.

    But I think most copyright holders are focused on activities which directly threaten their revenue. And rightly so, because without revenue they can’t produce material. Hence I am very respectful of not doing activities which illegally threaten revenuue.

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  25. Ben Wilson () says:

    DPF, I’m surprised you think material can’t be generated without revenue. Do you make a profit from this enormous blog site of your’s? Not from me, unless it is indirectly from my thousands of readers (I dream). You probably have more writers working for you than the Herald, all for nothing but the intellectual exercise and the idle dream of influencing others with their thoughts.

    But you would have every right to get bitter on someone mirroring your blog, despite the lack of revenue. There’s the kudos to think of. Unless they attribute it correctly back to you (as thousands of caches obviously do all the time). That’s an example of copyleft, rather than copyright, and clearly for you it works.

    Not that I’m saying there should be no copyright. I just think it’s going to become less and less important, and copyleft will become more and more. That could just be the pinko in me (no jokes Kimble, please).

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  26. Adolf Fiinkensein () says:

    It’s all a bit of a farce really, when it is so easy to read the damned stuff without paying. If the herald wants to increase it’s revenue, the best thng it could do is look to the quality and impartiality of it’s reporting. A few more people might buy the damned paper if they did.

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  27. Guido () says:

    Breaking Copyright is not theft and there is no such thing as Intellectual Property. Copyright is the granting of a Monopoly to Copy the selected work for amount of time by the government. And as anyone with any economic sense knows Monopoly’s are bad and distort markets. The lack of Copyrights did not stop Plato from writing “The Republic”, Herodotus “The Histories” or Ovid “The Art of Love” nor Beethoven “The 9th Symphony”. We need to take the commons back.


    A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy

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