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Editor's Note: CMP Status Report

Mar 23, 2004, 03:00 (18 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

By Brian Proffitt
Managing Editor

I wanted to give readers a quick update on where things currently stand with CMP and Linux Today.

Earlier this morning, I sent Bob Evans, Editor-in-Chief and Sr. VP of CMP, an e-mail detailing my concerns regarding the block placed on Linux Today's referred links to Information Week.

I was soon sent a reply by Mike Azzara, VP/Group Director of Internet Business at CMP, who was responsible for the decision to implement the block. In his reply, Azzara expressed concerns over the amount of material Linux Today had excerpted in recent links to the Information Week Web site, which in his opinion exceeded the standards of fair use. This opinion was shared by Evans, who replied to me later in the day in a separate note.

The problem with fair use is that there is no set standard. There's no percentage or absolute marker that says "Here There Be Copyright Infringement." It's a judgment call, pure and simple. My personal definition of fair use and CMP's management's definition differs right now, unfortunately.

I am pleased to report that after initial dialogue, our definitions of fair use should get closer together, and I believe a satisfactory solution for both sides can be worked out. I will keep you posted on this, as promised.

I also think it's fair to say that both I and CMP were more than a little surprised by the level of attention this has gotten from the community. While I will never regret keeping readers informed of site policy decisions, I will clarify this: it was not my intention to make CMP out to be the villans in my editorial on Friday. My main purpose was to sort out for readers what was going on, since a block like this had not been seen in LT links before, and to express concern that no contact had been made between our two companies before the block was put up.

CMP was trying their best to protect their copyrighted material, and that is a goal I personally and professionally share with any content provider.

Related Story:
Editor's Note: Blocked Sites and Fair Use(Mar 19, 2004)