Press Misreports Another IP Story
Public Knowledge. Don’t Trust the Media to Get Copyright Right: Scrabulous Coverage Scores Few Points. Jan. 22, 2008. Often, we have taken the press to task for its frequently errant and one-sided coverage of intellectual property issues. When IP was a backwater issue, poor (and sometimes inaccurate) coverage was a problem, but was not evident. Now IP often warrants front-page, above-the-fold coverage, and the mistakes not only are evident, they are harmful. A news organization’s primary professional objective is to get it right. Writing flowery prose like Selena Roberts is optional. Talking loud and saying little like Stephen A. is optional. Whining while cashing checks like Mr. Tony is optional.
Getting it right, on the other hand, is mandatory.
Marc Fisher got it wrong in a big way last month, likely because he relied on second-hand reporting and did not do the requisite amount of fact- and document checking. Now, as PK points out, several media outlets seem to have gotten the Scrabulous/Facebook story wrong, attributing to an alleged copyright infringement problem what really is an alleged trademark infringement problem. Not only is this unacceptable, it is grossly unprofessional. If the news media can’t get it right, above all else, it’s useless.
(Editor’s Note: Copycense editors originally commented on this article in the Jan. 29, 2008, edition of Copycense Clippings.)
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