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Indian News Portal Says Thomson Reuters Has ‘Unethical’ Understanding of Copyright
Written by Rezwan On 23 August 2014 @ 15:00 pm | 1 Comment
In Citizen Media, Digital Activism, English, Freedom of Speech, India, Law, Media & Journalism, Protest, South Asia, Technology, Weblog
Thomson Reuters  is usually in the business of writing headlines about others, but the New York-based global media and information firm has found itself making headlines in India after digital media portal MediaNama  received an email from the company seeking consent to use and redistribute its content.
The email read:
We are aware that you will be receiving numerous requests of this nature and that asking you to give a response in each case would be burdensome for you. We would ask, therefore, that you respond either to the address or e-mail address given below within 14 days of the date at the head of this letter only if you wish to refuse your consent. Otherwise, Thomson Reuters will presume that your consent has been given for the purposes set out in this letter.
Nikhil Pahwa , the founder of MediaNama, replied on the website in a post titled “Thomson Reuters: we’ll take your articles if you don’t tell us not to.”  He called the letter “unprofessional and unethical” and stressed:
A lack of refusal to consent does not amount to giving consent, and I doubt that this rationale will hold up in the court of law.
And “just for the fun,” Pahwa sent a similar letter back to Thomson Reuters.
The behavior is strange for a multi-billion-dollar company, according to Saptarishi Dutta  at Quartz India, who spun the situation into a more relatable one for readers: “Imagine being told by someone that she plans to take your car if you don’t respond to an email expressly stating she can’t actually take your car. Now imagine that assertion is made by a huge company.”
On Aug. 22, Pahwa wrote  that he had received another email from Reuters, saying that the first message had been sent “in error” and promising that none of MediaNama's content would be used without their “express permission.”
The publication of MediaNama's letter garnered many reactions, especially on Twitter:
— Madhavan Narayanan (@madversity) August 22, 2014 
— Jaskirat Singh Bawa (@JaskiratSB) August 22, 2014 
— Rohin Dharmakumar (@r0h1n) August 21, 2014 
How long until Thomson Reuters starts backtracking and spinning this? http://t.co/ZqXvwMEKJO 
— Joseph Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) August 21, 2014 
Wow I just heard that Thomson Reuters is offering free content backup of blogs and websites? Great news.
— EthanolDefenceLeague (@sidin) August 21, 2014 
One commenter on MediaNama's post doubted the authenticity of the letter :
It's very unlikely for a big company to issue a non-directed email seeking a legal contract. And, that too one of the world's largest media companies asking for articles from a little-known entity (no disrespect to any one). And surely, the letter signature would have matched the email id :P For technology reporters, email ID masking should be a known thing #justsaying
Thomson Reuters’ subsequent email suggests that the original note was indeed real. Although it appears that MediaNama's content is safe for now, the incident begs the question: What other media outlets have received notices like this? Global Voices urges readers to share similar stories in our comments section.
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/08/23/indian-news-portal-says-thomson-reuters-has-unethical-understanding-of-copyright/
URLs in this post:
 Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/39908901@N06/8771272935
 Thomson Reuters: https://www.google.es/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fthomsonreuters.com%2F&ei=d373U6hkypvRBd6vAQ&usg=AFQjCNEn4LGFogUVZMRuEPVDBCyED7uXXw&sig2=JOvAenFBXYAtMt4buxfrsA
 MediaNama: http://www.medianama.com/
 Nikhil Pahwa: http://www.medianama.com/author/nikhil/
 “Thomson Reuters: we’ll take your articles if you don’t tell us not to.”: http://www.medianama.com/2014/08/223-thomson-reuters-well-take-your-articles-if-you-dont-tell-us-not-to/
 Saptarishi Dutta: http://qz.com/253097/this-journalist-just-taught-thomson-reuters-a-pretty-big-lesson/
 @ThomsonReuters: https://twitter.com/thomsonreuters
 @medianama: https://twitter.com/medianama
 http://t.co/gHShsSDcyk: http://t.co/gHShsSDcyk
 August 22, 2014: https://twitter.com/madversity/statuses/502660943374221314
 http://t.co/156Oz0okIx: http://t.co/156Oz0okIx
 August 22, 2014: https://twitter.com/JaskiratSB/statuses/502811285159817216
 @nixxin: https://twitter.com/nixxin
 http://t.co/XLBYtTAbhv: http://t.co/XLBYtTAbhv
 August 21, 2014: https://twitter.com/r0h1n/statuses/502313094979534848
 http://t.co/ZqXvwMEKJO: http://t.co/ZqXvwMEKJO
 August 21, 2014: https://twitter.com/TheStalwart/statuses/502449147765862400
 August 21, 2014: https://twitter.com/sidin/statuses/502461216779169793
 doubted the authenticity of the letter: http://www.medianama.com/2014/08/223-thomson-reuters-well-take-your-articles-if-you-dont-tell-us-not-to/?_ga=1.232579039.1370600912.1406720270#comment-1553158800
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