First shots fired vs Internet fair use

During the CBS/Rathergate fiasco, Lex predicted a counterattack is coming from the MSM. I predicted the MSM will go after linking/fair use, a la Drudgereport.

Today Drudge has the following headline:

Agence France Presse Sues Over Google News

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Agence France Presse has sued Google Inc. (GOOG), alleging the Web search leader includes AFP’s photos, news headlines and stories on its news site without permission.

It’s a shot across the bow, methinks.

Pretty smart move. If they sued a helpless individual, they would get the free speech/uproar factor. Sue another media company with deep pockets, and no one really cares. It becomes a technical fight by lawyers. Fight it out, and get a ruling on the side of copyright protection. Then use this ruling as a saber to rattle down the road.

Anticipating “Internet Fame”

Michael Blowhard speculates:

Are there lessons to be drawn from the episode? It seems likely to me that kids growing up with the Web are going be wrestling with at least one stark choice: does it 1) make more sense to maintain total control over your photographs and videotapes? Or is it 2) more economical (and entertaining) to say “What the hell,” put it all out there, and enjoy whatever consequences ensue?

And why do I suspect that we’ll be seeing a lot of people opting for Choice Number Two?

Just as sensitive online communications that are currently safely encrypted may one day, after technological advances, become public, it may be that someone will eventually develop an effective Internet search engine for images (i.e., one based on something like facial recognition, rather than text as is currently the case). If that happens, a lot of the images that were put on the Internet before anybody expected them to be searchable will become searchable. Photos posted long ago, without accompanying text information, will no longer reliably remain obscure. This is as much true for photos that someone else took of you as it is for your own uploads. The implications for learning about other people in great detail are obvious, though the extent to which this will be a problem will not become clear until we get there.

Michael posits that kids growing up in the new age will face disclosure dilemmas, and they may. But I think it’s at least as likely that most people growing up now and in the foreseeable future will take the lack of privacy for granted. It’s the people now alive who grew up before the Internet who may have the hardest time, because there’s a lot of information out there about many of them that they once assumed would forever remain private.

If you don’t want an image or document to become widely known in the far future, don’t transmit it by or post it on the Internet.

Link Rot

Link rot is the tendency of all hyperlinks to eventually go bad. Sometimes the site moves (usually when Blogspot gets to be too much), sometimes the article goes into archives, and sometimes the site just vanishes. This seems to be the case with the Gweilo Diaries, in which a lawyer known only as Conrad detailed his misbehavior in the Far East, mainly in Hong Kong, mixed in with reliably irreverent commentary. Every Friday, he featured a cheesecake of an Asian actress. The site appears to have been taken down, and now the URL registration has lapsed. He has even closed the Hotmail account for the site. My guess is that his employer found out and made him shut down.

This is after Steven den Beste stopped opining. Sigh. A lot of the time, the stuff you read on weblogs is the same stuff that, rendered audible, leads you to finish your coffee quickly and flee the donut shop. These sites didn’t fall into that category.

And now this. The Belgravia Dispatch, by Gregory Djerejian, is giving me a teal screen of death:

You are seeing this page because there is nothing configured for the site you have requested. If you think you are seeing this page in error, please contact the site administrator or datacenter responsible for this site.

Guys, come on. Don’t make me go back to the real world.