Blogging at the Nieman Journalism Lab, Zachary Seward takes a deeper look at what I wrote about earlier this week — that the New York Times Co., in its answer to GateHouse Media’s copyright-infringement suit, is alleging similar linking practices by GateHouse, served up with large dollops of hypocrisy and track-covering on GateHouse’s part. (If you’ve just arrived, here’s my best attempt at summarizing the case.)
Seward quotes from an internal e-mail by Howard Owens, GateHouse’s director of digital publishing, in which Owens seems to condone the very linking practices over which GateHouse is now suing the Times Co.
Does this help bolster the Times Co.’s case? Perhaps. What’s missing, though, is any sense of context. What the Times Co. is trying to do with its Boston.com Your Town sites is, as far as I know, unprecedented in the way that those sites scoop up every GateHouse Wicked Local link of value on a community-by-community basis.
As I’ve tried to make clear from the beginning, I’m not taking sides. I’m just trying to show why this isn’t just a typical case of one news site linking to another.