When Does Excerpting Become Illegal?

Kara Reeder

New modes of creation, reuse, mixing and mash-ups that have been made possible by digital technologies and the Internet are concerning media executives, according to The New York Times.


In the past, excerpts have been welcomed by major media companies because the links passed along traffic from the mass of Web sites that reused their news and information. But with some Web sites taking larges pieces of original work, media executives are concerned that these sites re taking away readers and profiting from the content. Case in point, Google announced last week that it was adding ads to Google News search results pages.


The copyright law does not provide a word limit for excerpting, so some Web sites are defining it for themselves. The Alley Insiders goes by a digital golden rule: "To excerpt others the way we want to be excerpted ourselves," while the Huffington Post says, "we excerpt to add value."


What do you think? At what point does excerpting infringe copyright? Post your comments on our discussion page.

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