Friday, December 15, 2006

Newspapers adopt Creative Commons licenses

The Town Online group of Massachusetts newspapers, purchased earlier this year by GateHouse Media, recently rolled out redesigned, more blog-like Web pages, and with them, Creative Commons licenses allowing sharing of content for non-commercial uses.

In an article posted at PressThink, Lisa Williams, editor of, writes that this is the first newspaper chain or major newspaper to release content under Creative Commons, a more flexible alternative to traditional copyright. She quotes media critic and blogger Dan Kennedy:
"For newspapers to give up copyright is a remarkable step," says Dan Kennedy, who teaches journalism at Northeastern University and is a longtime watcher of the Boston media scene. "We all understand that it's okay to link to them, but this seems to say that it’s also okay to copy and paste entire articles. Is that what they want?"
Williams seems to think so. She writes:
"Sharing content, letting non-professionals submit content, and connecting with a global network of open-source tinkerers reveal a picture of a firm that’s open to the wide world of the web. That doesn’t sound like your average media company."

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