Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wikileaks bounty on TPP raises question of journalists' paying for stories

It’s not OK for journalists to pay for stories. (I sometimes wonder if senders of email I get realize that.)  But recently, Wikileaks has created a stir by offering a “bounty” for parts of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty so that it can leak pre-publish them.
Kelly McBride has an op-ed about this problem in the New York Times Tuesday, June 9, 2015, p. A21, “when it’s O.K. to pay for a story”, link here.
There is a big problem in the secrecy of the negotiations and the possibility that they could affect users, especially in third world country.
Of particular concern are the narrowing of fair use interpretations of copyright, the narrowing of the protections of DMCA-safe-harbor protections, and the loosening of procedures for filing copyright complaints.  It could also increase downstream liability for intermediaries, and force them to police users.
But it isn’t clear that this would affect any content within the US or between the US and all countries.  But even so, allowing some content to be available in many countries could become a big headache. Electronic Frontier Foundation has an Issues page on it here

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