Murdoch & ‘Fair Use’

By Anne Collier

For students, teachers, and parents interested in the ongoing conversation about the “fair use” of other people’s content in the classroom, Web profiles, presentations, blogs, etc., this article in is great: It’s the view from two intellectual property lawyers of News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch’s threat to block Google from searching his news sites (you know, minor sites like the Wall Street Journal’s and Times of London). He says that he’s trying actually to monetize his content at the same time that Google’s making it free. The thing is, Google allows anyone to block its Web crawlers (which index the Web for its search engine) by using the Robots Exclusion Protocol (simply adding that exclusion code into the software code of their sites). So the lawyers in the article think Murdoch “must have other reasons for these threats” (like somehow changing Fair Use law?). [Thanks to teacher and Flat Classroom Project founder Vicki Davis for point this piece out. See also “Remixes & mashups“; “EFF’s copyright curriculum for students“; and – thanks to a tweet from teacher Samantha Morra – The Fair Use Evaluator tool.]

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