The Canadian National Post has been making waves online for charging those media groups $150 for quotes they might list from their stories.
However the rag has failed to see its own gross hypocracy as it seeks to charge for stories written by Chris Selley who writes Full Pundit.
Full Pundit is a daily look at Canadian editorial and opinion columns and bases the column on er stuff he found on the internet.
So if you want to post a quote from Selley or anything else written by the National Post, they are now presented with a pop-up box seeking a licence that starts at $150 for the Internet posting of 100 words with an extra fee of 50 cents for each additional word.
So if you want to use this Selley quote which was a quote from John Graham in the Globe on the death of Chavez you have to pay the Post $150 and not the writer.
"Illiteracy has all but disappeared. ... Education and free health care are almost universally available. ... Improving the quality of life for millions at the bottom levels of society is no small achievement. He also imparted to these millions a sense of dignity about themselves and pride in their leader's often bombastic rhetoric."
Now we have not paid either. This is because demands for dosh for using text this way are illegal in most of the known world. To make doubly sure we cut and pasted the quote of the quote from a Michael Geist blog at the Huffington Post. If we are wrong with our legal view point there will be a long line of hacks in front of us.
Our guess is that the National Post is trying it on. Last year, the Federal Court of Canada decided that several paragraphs from a National Post column did not constitute copying a substantial part of the work.
So far the Supreme Court of Canada has indicated that copying full articles in some circumstances may be allowed.
What appears to have happened is that the National Post started using iCopyright as its licensing service. But this outfit has printed a fair use statement which claims that fair use may not apply to money making work that may generate revenues, is not highly creative, was available under licence, is something more than a footnote, or is posted to the Web. Geist who is a legal expert says this is rubbish.
We will copy readers in if this copy of a copy of a copy of quote gets a bill from iCopyright.