The liberal news site Raw Story makes a regular practice of framing articles from other media sites, displaying the pages at a Raw Story web address with additional advertising. This technique was the subject of a widely publicized copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit in the late '90s between a small news site and several media giants.

Some examples from Raw Story's current front page:

In February 1997, the Washington Post, Time, CNN and five other plaintiffs outlets sued the web site TotalNews for framing stories from their sites, calling the practice "parasitic" and an infringement of their trademarks and copyrights.

Simply put, Defendants are engaged in the Internet equivalent of pirating copyrighted material from a variety of famous newspapers, magazines, or television news programs; packaging those stories to advertisers as part of a competitive publication or program produced by Defendants; and pocketing the advertising revenue generated by their unauthorized use of that material.

News coverage of the case, which was settled when TotalNews agreed to stop framing the plaintiffs' sites, helped discourage the practice. Raw Story, one of the largest liberal sites with 3.2 million hits a week, displays its own banner ads and navigation menu atop each framed article.

Disclosure: I publish the Drudge Retort, which was in 2005 a member of the Liberal Blog Advertising Network with Raw Story and around 75 other sites. After both sites were kicked out of the network, I briefly discussed the formation of an ad network with Raw Story founder John Byrne.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

All intellectual property is theft!

So lemme get this straight. WaPo, CNN, Time & 5 other media giants tried to weaken the economic strength of blogworld? They did this by initiating an ultimately successful lawsuit to discontinue the practice of "Framing stories"? The suit was settled when TotalNews agreed to stop framing the plaintiffs sites? Rawstory is continuing or perhaps has never stopped the practice and so far no lawsuits. Is that about it? Wots the question here? Is this practice "the equivilant of piracy"? Is it moral? Is it legal? Can they stop it? Should they want to stop it? Everybodies competing fer the same eyeballs and by "winning" such a suit, ie disallowing such links, those 8 media giants risk marginalising themselves in the greater public perception of wot constitutes "hot news" (Spud loathes that term but wot ya gonna do?) They risk their relevancy. They also risk their public reputations, their well honed corporate personas by coming across too much like bullies, like some kinda corporate Goliaths, if you will ...(and even if you won't).

The corporate media is damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Spud thinks this is funny but Spud is an 8 1/2 inch tall talking potato so Eye wouldn't take anything he sez too serious like.

Be Well.


 

Rogers,

You must have some whammy in that shame-stick. The site now flips you, a la Drudge Retort, directly to the site where the news item originates.

Spud? You see how the Liberals are trying to play the Quebec card? They're insane. They might as well also publish when they support breaking up the country the way they're courting the Quebec nationalists. I was a die hard supporter, until Cretien really fouled the waters near the end there.

Harper at least hasn't had the chance to screw things up nearly as bad.

Regards,
etc.


 

Huh. Well scratch that. Just two of the articles I happened to click on.

One was "Democrats fear the storm could leave them high and dry" - had to check if I was being infringed upon too.....

The other was "Warming my damage the economy". Thankfully Raw wasn't trying to sneak a perfect storm warning in through nefarious means.

Regards,
etc.


 

IIRC, the javascript to break out of a frame is about one line, so perhaps those framed sites should use that. Another site this uses this same trick is about.com, which also has *some* of their external links going through a redirect script.


 

An unimpressive site, really.


 

Aren't you being a complete hypocrite since you have a Colbert video on your site? Did Comedy Central license you host their copyrighted video? How is framing a story worse than pirating their show?


 

I'm displaying a 117-second clip from the show and commenting on it. That's fair use. Raw Story's framing adds nothing to the full text of entire articles but its logo and an ad.


 

Let's not forget the very, very popular right wing neoconservative website NewsMax. To say that they frame stories from other news services is polite, yikes! As for RawStory, the news articles they carry & the way that they frame them is unusually good & accurate (something NewsMax wishes they could claim). I've studied every news service I can find for about seven years & RawStory is the best & NewsMax is the worst.


 

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