Ethical and Legal Concerns in a Digital World

So, who gave Google the right to publish your copyrighted work?

Posted in ethical issues,legal issues by digitalprof on December 29, 2005

Big Mother Won’t Ask Permission

OK, so here’s the lowdown…Google, the mega-web monster, has started their project to copy every known book in print…and for the kicker…WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION!!! Yes, even if you have your work registered with the Copyright office .

As illegal as this sounds its a case of David (us) versus Goliath (Google and their money)…so eventhough some leading writer organizations have voiced their opposition to this “piracy,” Google continues to publish the “stolen” product.

One of my books, Dulce’s Revenge, is on their searchable site…I can only conclude that my publisher gave them the data. So much for my rights.

Oh, BTW, Google says I an “opt-out” of giving them the right to publish my work. Sort of like a bank robber stating that if you don’t want them to rob your bank, you should just say-so now!

What happens to good people and good companies that let them think that they can change the world and its laws? Google used to be a leader in the world of “new technology.” now they have become just an abuser of intellectual property holders. So, why does Google copyright all of their work. I’ll just bet they vigorously defend their copyright.

Copyright laws have a rich history of protecting intellectual property rights, but they just don’t seem to have a place in today’s new digital world.


Associated Press–New Ethics Guidelines

Posted in ethical issues,legal issues by digitalprof on December 27, 2005

AP Addresses Digital Issues

The Associated Press has recently released a statement of News Values and Principles.

While the new guidelines are sweeping for any major news organization it still seems to me that they have no “bite.”

So, what are ethical guidelines about? Is there ever any punishment for violating the codes?

From personal experience, I worked for a major newspaper as a freelancer for eleven years and never received a single written guideline concerning what I could/should do concerning ethics, or for that matter, the law. Of course I was just a photojournalist!

The reporters got an inch-thick set of written guidelines, but not the people that give you the images that are trusted so much.

What do you think? Are ethical guidelines worth anything?

There are some organizations that lead the way in discussions involving ethics and the media. The Poynter Institute is a leader in the field. And, in the field of academic journals, the Journal of Mass Media Ethics has published for over twenty years on the subject.

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