It is likely that a battle will soon commence between leading newspaper publishers and online service providers.
It has been reported that Rupert Murdoch, who owns a number of multi-national publications, has expressed his concern over the use of news articles by websites and search engines.
He is reported as saying that journalism is expensive and that to aggregate stories is not fair use. However it is long established that organisations can ‘repeat’ news stories if the owner is acknowledged and that this falls within fair use. Furthermore a lot of search engines allow users to view a headline or summary of a story and then direct that user to the original source.
One method to prevent such use appears to be to charge users for viewing content and this has been initiated by a number of publishers.
What is likely however is that a case will soon be brought by a leading publisher against an internet company to determine the barriers and boundaries to such use.