Newspaper CEO Finally Agrees Copyright Trolling Was a Dumb Idea

About a year ago MediaNews Group, publisher of 40 newspapers, signed a deal with Righthaven, a law firm. The deal allowed Righthaven to file copyright infringement lawsuits on MediaNews Group’s behalf in exchange for 50% of any settlement/verdict. Now, MediaNews Group has decided to part ways with Righthaven and John Paton, the chief executive of MediaNews Group, is quoted in Wired as saying:

“The issues about copyright are real … But the idea that you would hire someone on an — essentially — success fee to run around and sue people at will who may or may not have infringed as a way of protecting yourself … does not reflect how news is created and disseminated in the modern world … I come from the idea that it was a dumb idea from the start.” (emphasis added)

The idea that one could monetize news content (or any other content) by restricting its circulation and suing individual bloggers was always a dubious one. The RIAA and many other organizations that took this approach previously now appear to be abandoning it. And, as the Wired article also notes, Righthaven has lost a string of its lawsuits over the question of whether it even has the right to sue over copyright infringement when they are not the actual copyright holder.

Hardt and Negri on Property

From Commonwealth, p7:

Property, which is taken to be intrinsic to human thought and action, serves as the regulative ideal of the constitutional state and the rule of law. This is not really a historical foundation but rather an ethical obligation, a constitutive form of the moral order. The concept of the individual is defined by not being but having; rather than to a “deep” metaphysical and transcendental unity, in other words, it refers to a “superficial” entity endowed with property or possessions, defined increasingly today in “patrimonial” terms as shareholder.

Twitter changes TOS: THEY own YOUR tweets

Twitter recently changed their Terms of Service (i.e. TOS). They (somewhat) address the changes in a blog post, that generally outline each change, most notable their new found ability to advertise and their redefinition of ownership:

Ownership—Twitter is allowed to “use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute” your tweets because that’s what we do. However, they are your tweets and they belong to you.

Essentially, while a copy of your tweets may still “belong to you,” Twitter now claims ownership over a copy too and they are reserving the right to do whatever they want with it. So, how exactly do my tweets still belong to me, if Twitter now owns them?