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paidContent: Government ends plans for free online content at main libraries

The Department of Culture Media and Sport has advised Journalism.co.uk of some inaccuracies in this article by PaidContent. We are awaiting clarification and will update this post shortly.

paidContent reports this week the government has abandoned plans “that would have compelled publishers of content behind ‘paywalls’ to make that content available for free through Britain’s main libraries”.

The report refers to the government’s response to a consultation on plans to allow libraries to use both free and paid-for content in their archives, which appears to have been published this month.

Currently, the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 grants the British Library, the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales, and the university libraries of Oxford, Cambridge and Trinity College, Dublin, the right to receive and store one printed copy of each printed work available in the UK.

Last September, the government, acting on advice from the Legal Deposit Advisory Panel, which advises government on the Act, proposed extending this provision to offline digital publications and online publications. The libraries would run harvesting algorithms to grab and store the content. But paid-access web systems make this more difficult.

… But, in conclusion this week, it [the government] says: “In the light of the overall responses, and the lack of evidence from both libraries and publishers to support the case that the regulations do not impose a disproportionate burden, we do not believe that it is viable to go forward with the regulations as currently drafted unless we can find evidence of proportionality.”

paidContent said this is “a victory” for news publishers.

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The Register/OUT-LAW.com: Times libel ruling is warning for online news archives

October 20th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

The protection offered in libel cases by a responsible journalism defence can ‘evaporate’ if the crucial facts of the case change and web archives of news stories must be changed to reflect this, a High Court ruling from earlier this month has said.

As the Register and OUT-LAW report, the ruling came in a case where the Times continued to publish a defamatory article online about a policeman from the London Met, who was being investigated.

The Times defended the online version of the 2006 article claiming qualified privilege and responsible journalism, but was told that this could no longer apply to the online version of the story after the outcome of the investigation, which found insufficient evidence to take criminal proceedings against the officer.

“The failure to remove the article from the website, or to attach to the articles published on the Times’ website a suitable qualification, cannot possibly be described as responsible journalism (…) It is not in the public interest that there should continue to be recorded on the internet the questions as to [the officer’s] honesty which were raised in 2006, and it is not fair to him,” the ruling stated.

Full story at this link…

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Nieman Journalism Lab: How NPR maximised its news archive

Nieman Journalism Lab reports on NPR’s ‘backstory’ project – a Twitter account, automatically fed, that updates with relevant archive content around current trends.

The code that powers it detects if lots of people suddenly start searching for a certain term and searches NPR’s archives for related stories, before posting a link to Twitter.

Full story at this link…

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