Riffing off and ripping off the news

Increasingly, the ethical challenge for bloggers and news aggregators is to riff off but not rip off other people’s work. This brings us to newser.com, a site that summarizes news stories for those of us who want to “read less” and “know more.”

Of course, by riffing/ripping off more traditional news sources, newser.com draws plenty of criticism. The site acknowledges its sources, but it is designed so that the casual site visitor likely will not feel the need to leave the newser.com shell.

If newser.com becomes immensely successful, smaller local organizations probably won’t feel the pinch as much as larger sites and news services. As long as most news content on the Web remains free, big media outlets such as the New York Times, Associated Press and MSNBC will fight a battle similar to what recording companies fought with music file-sharing services such as the original version of Napster. Can I borrow news stories from a friend much like I borrow music from a friend?


~ by dbozmedia on November 11, 2009.

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