I’m A Jerk And I Steal From Others – I Don’t Think So!

Back on November 21, 2009, I wrote an article about Rupert Murdoch and his threats to Google and how he was going to pull his news content away from search engines. [See my post here] So this morning I read a comment from a reader that stated the following:

You and everyone who blogs is a jerk. You steal the content of others and claim it as your own. Mr. Murdoch is correct in trying to protect real journalists as well as their news content.

Get a real life.

With the advent of the Internet one can no longer cite just the U.S. Constitution when it comes to Freedom of the Press. Instead I located what is called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights over at Wikipedia, which was established after World War II, and states the following:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”

The words ‘everyone has the right of freedom of opinion and expression’ I believe, not only refers to journalists, but protects anyone who writes about anything and expresses their opinion. Also these words ‘through any media regardless of frontiers’ pertains to the Internet as well as printed news.

What is the word ‘news’ and what does it mean?  Who owns the news?

I believe the word ‘news’ pertains to any occurrence that is of interest to others. ‘News’ is something that peaks the interest of particular readers and may not be of interest to others. For example, if John Smith of Podunk, anywhere, falls off of his bike and needs medical treatment, this is ‘news’. But the audience may be limited to John’s family, his friends, neighbors and others, but not to the rest of the world.

Who owns this ‘news’? The journalist who writes about it? The news agency that reports it? I believe that John Smith actually owns this ‘news’ because it involved an incident that happened to him. Of course this would be ridiculous and would mean that John Smith should be compensated by everyone who reports the ‘news’ of his fall.

If a news agency posts an article on the Internet, and the article is free for all to see, should that article not be cited if credit is given to the writer?

What do you think?

Comments as always are welcome.

Wikipedia source.

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • Buffet

    Jerk? HARDLY! The amount of useful, relevant 411 I garner from you, and your cohorts, is worth it’s weight in gold! To top it off – it’s f@#*kin’ FREE. How cool is that. Just keep doin’ what you’re doin’. It IS appreciated. Believe it or, I’ve even been called a jerk before? Hard to imagine, I know. Ya just gotta dismiss the rantings of a few lunatics. Thanks again.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Buffet – It is I that thanks you. Without people such as yourself, Lockergnome would not exist.

  • mhz

    >>>>Who owns this ‘news’?
    >>>>The journalist who writes about it?
    >>>>The news agency that reports it?

    You’re making a rhetorical argument here, which sounds dramatic, but doesn’t make any sense.

    The question is not “who owns the news”, but whether the people doing the work of reporting, and the companies that directly fund and provide for that service should get paid for it.

    If Google wants it for free, and end users want it for free, who will pay for the reporting to get done? Who should get the phone call from a reporter in Africa when the guerrilla fighting is closing in on his position and he needs to quickly relocate to a hotel in another town or else get killed in the crossfire?

    Who will call and set up a place for him to go, and wire the money, so that he has a place to escape to?

    Should he just try his best to find an internet cafe and post a plea for Paypal donations for a hotel room in Africa? There is time, money, blood, sweat and tears going into gathering news. And if you refuse to pay for it, it will cease to exist.

    Its just like any other business, EXCEPT for the web advertising business. The fact that Google has such an easy business model (“if you want to be seen on the internet, call us…”) that they don’t respect anyone else’s is ridiculous.

  • Gary Bing

    MHZ has got it and others better as well. I don’t like the way this is going. The only free news will be propaganda and advertisers. How will we know about corruption local and otherwise? We will just look to our “free” news sources. This is old news It’s been done before.I need not remind you of where and when. You are not going to be told the who, the why and the how. Do you want the FOX to guard the hen house? I think not . Not on my watch. Free news is something we can’t afford. Somebody is going to have to replace those out of work reporters. Would that be bloggers? Some may even be paid more than reporters. I’m doing this for free, along with a plethora of many other things on the subject of misinformation, scams and corruption. I don’t ask to be paid but you may have got your “moneys worth”, reading myself.