More support for changing copyright law to help newspapers

Jeff Bercovici

A push to tweak existing copyright laws to help newspapers profit from the content they produce has attracted some very vocal opposition in a short span of time, but the idea continues to gain currency nevertheless. Jason Klein, president and CEO of the National Newspaper Network, says he supports a rethinking of the current copyright regime, although he stops short of endorsing one suggested blueprint for accomplishing it.

"Part of the challenge around investment in quality, original investigative journalism is that it gets ripped off so quickly without attribution," said Klein, speaking from the stage this morning at a panel discussion on the future of media hosted by Gotham Media Ventures. "Google picks it up and profits from it. Other entities rewrite stories very quickly. And all the copyright laws were written in an era before the internet emerged and this was a real trend.

"I'm not an intellectual property attorney but it certainly seems to me that this is a very good time to revisit the copyright protection that newspapers get for original journalism in this era," Klein added. "It's time this gets looked at much more carefully."

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