The Wrap’s leading lady Sharon Waxman and Newser impresario Michael Wolff have been swatting back and forth for the past week about Newser’s aggregation and linking practices.Now, Sharon is getting lawyers involved, sending a cease and desist letter.
Her bottom line: Link to us or stop aggregating our content.
From Sharon: All we really want is for Newser to stop pissing on our leg and tell us it’s raining. Very simply: put in credit and links where they are missing. Add a Wrap homepage link to the source grid page. Make it simple and logical to get to actual Wrap content from that page. Read more at The Wrap >
If you’re just catching up to the debate, here are the basics:
Sharon’s argument: Newser isn’t properly linking to The Wrap. In some instances, Newser failed to link to The Wrap at all. According to Sharon, she loves aggregators, “They send us lots of new readers,” she wrote. But “I’m starting to think hard about the line between lifting content and aggregating it.” The Wrap does great aggregation, and original work. They deserve credit where credit is due.
Newser’s argument: Wolff writes that she “is really just sour that Newser readers don’t find a need to click the link under the BIG RED SOURCE BOX that would take them to her longer story).” People like Sharon and Rupert Murdoch think they own the news, he explains. But users need aggregators to help them navigate a Web busting with content.
Both of the new media moguls plan to appear on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday to debate the issue.
Ryan Chittum at the Columbia Journalism Review writes that the suit “will probably be settled (with Newser backing down), but it’s one to watch. If it were to happen to go to court it could set precedents for online re-use of others’ expensive-to-make content.”
We asked Michael for a comment and will post his response if we hear back from him.
Update: Michael calls Sharon’s letter “a joke.” See his full response here.
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