Innovation Management Wisdom

Should Newspapers Lobby for Changes in Digital Copyright Laws?

July 23rd, 2007

Having newspaper innovation on my mind, a story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer this morning jumped off the page.

The article, titled, “Idea to help newspapers draws national spotlight, bloggers ire“, describes the efforts of a Cleveland lawyer to “restore protections once held by newspapers against competitors appropriating, and profiting from, stories produced at great expense.”

The story reports bloggers’ reactions to the idea, which are predictably negative. Not this author, however.

It’s one thing to send readers to a newspaper’s website to read their story (as I’m doing here.) It’s another to display news stories on one’s website for free that are produced at great expense by newspapers.

Consultants face similar intellectual property infringements as newspapers. Once someone takes that property and presents it as their own, we’re out of business. So, perhaps a “legal innovation” in favor of protecting those who actually produce the news, newspapers, is appropriate if not long overdue.

What do you think?

Jason M. Sherman is president of Whyze Group, a customer experience research and innovation firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. Whyze Group was founded in 2001 and has worked with more than thirty Fortune 500 companies in a variety of industry sectors. You can reach Jason at (440) 785-0547 or at

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