HuskerBoard recently received notice from the Omaha World Herald (OWH) requesting that we remove a post in which an OWH article had been copied from the OWH site and pasted into the post. Here is the email:
To whom it may concern:
The HuskerBoard.com website contains Omaha World-Herald copyrighted material that appears to have been cut and pasted from the Omaha World-Herald website.
The material can be found with this link:
The Omaha World-Herald requires that written permission be given by the publisher or executive editor prior to our material being reproduced on a website. No such permission has been granted. Therefore, I have a good-faith belief that the use of the content listed above is unauthorized.
I, W. James Johnson, state under penalty of perjury that the above information is accurate and that I am authorized to act on behalf of the Omaha World-Herald to protect its intellectual property.
Thank you for your prompt attention to removing this post immediately and ensuring no future posts contain Omaha World-Herald copyrighted material. Please notify me as soon as this has been removed.
Until now, we've always taken the position that we would allow posting of material that was copied from a web site that did not charge for access. Unfortunately (as we'll get to below), we can't allow that any longer. So, effective immediately, HuskerBoard will not permit posting of articles from "publication" web sites. This includes material from newspapers or any site that claims copyright of the material. We will enforce this as we find it or are notified of it, and continued infractions by a member will result in suspensions and bans.
It is permissible to post a short (one paragraph or less) paraphrasing of the gist of the article, and a direct link to the article. In fact, we asked specifically asked the OWH about this, and it was gracious enough to allow it - we believe that most sites will feel the same way.
I realize this is a pain, and in some respects it makes no sense - heck, anyone can hit a newspaper's site, or ESPN, and read the material for no charge. However, it does violate copyright.
One issue about this that we discussed extensively is the idea that the web sites have essentially placed the material in the "public domain" by putting it on the web. As common sense as that seems, legally that's not the case. The term "public domain" refers to material that is free from copyright - it has nothing to do with whether you have to pay to view it. In the US, for publications, such as newspapers (or ESPN's web site, etc.), that means that copyright exists until 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.
Again, we regret we have to do this, but we simply have no choice. We appreciate your cooperation. Thanks.