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Legal and Ethical Constraints for Online Journalism May 17, 2010

Posted by Ben Smith in Uncategorized.

In this lecture we looked briefly at the copyright issues concerned with online journalism.


Breach of copyright – The Independent used some snow scene photos from Flickr.

(Pete Zab’s photos.)The Independent had to pay costs etc, as he had copyright instructions on the photos.


Some Flickr images do have copyright instructions.

Creative Commons license:

–       You can download pictures but check if they say they would like a credit.

NB the photographer can see who has linked to them by checking the incoming links, so it is very important to find the copyright conditions.

The photos often have a tab they can track to see if anyone is stealing.

It is safest is to take your own photos!


–       Embeddable video is fine to copy

–       If they want to protect it they disable it.

Written content

–       There are checkers for plagiarism

see www.plagiarismchecker.com

–       Written content can be traced very easily.

–       NewsNow trawls the Internet. It does custom searches of the news for subscribers, to tailor stories to meet your needs. Recently The Times brought up the fact that NewsNow was reproducing The Times and ‘charging’ for it due to the subscriber system. There is a big debate about ‘when is it stealing?’

–       Freelanceunbound has an article that has been copied by pindebit.blog – it is very common in blogging for people to steal. They do not do any work but sell on their own blog as they bring in lots of content. They should give a link, and they should add their input.

We also looked at changing the header and footer on our site.

Go to Edit themes > appearance

–       Look for the header url and paste the info in after background to change the colour to black.

–       Change the length of the header and footer by changing the sizes by looking in stylesheet, taking out the width and copy and paste it to the header info

–       Note that the front page has its own stylesheet.

We also looked at http://www.gravatar.com, a site which allows you to upload an image to be a globally – recognised avatar.


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