Social Networking Industry Consortium for Support of Free Speech (SNIC-Free)
(I) The Attributor/GLP issue brings to the forefront of the Internet software industry an intriguing innovation opportunity. Consider the rapid growth of social networking sites, including blogs, forums, chat rooms and nings that allow copy/paste of previously published, copyrighted news and content -- and take GLP's success as an example. Instead of paying the lawyers to intervene with Attributor, enable the innovators and software engineers to make the online community better and bypass any need for Attributor's actions.
What may be needed is a new software "applet" that integrates into the software infrastructure of social networking sites. Such a software server applet would enable social networking sites (such as GLP) to do real-time, rather instantaneous background checks & verification of the DMCA legally allowed amount of copyrighted material that can be republished online (e.g. "copied & pasted"). In effect, this would amount to a software program that performs the following routines:
(a) Develop a (RSS-feed enabled) comprehensive industry registered database of the actual text and html content (i.e. photos, graphics, video, etc.) of the major news stories of the day. [It seems to me that the vast majority of posts and responses deal with the top 100 stories of the day, whether they be stories about oil spills-, earthquakes-, floods-, corruption-, murders-, bank robberies-, civil injustice-, new science & technology innovations, new product launches-, and the like.]
(b) Just as Attributor has done, write a software program that COMPARES the content of the text, photos, graphics and videos of the COPIED & PASTED CONTENT OF THE POSTS & RESPONSES ON THE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE IN QUESTION with the original content registered in the comprehensive database. In order to obviate the obvious inefficiency in examining short posts and comments that include not referenced/copied/pasted content, this could be done, for example, by prompting the software engine to ONLY examine MESSAGE THREAD POSTS and RESPONSES that exceeded a certain number of text characters and/or included obvious html markers for photos, graphics, text as well as html markers for referenced sites (that the poster/responder has not included in his/her post/response).
(c) IFF the software applet determines that the copied & pasted content meets or exceeds the 80% threshold (or whatever the DMCA allows as free re-distribution) then the software applet automatically and immediately removes the post/response and informs the viewers and attendees of the forum, blob, social networking site that the content has been removed due to copyright infringement. Also, the app could publish (within the framework of THAT SPECIFIC social networking site) a MESSAGE TO THE POSTER/RESPONDER that IFF the poster/responder diminishes his/her copied & pasted content to levels that the DMCA legally allows, then that specific social networking site will RE-INSERT the content of his/her post/response back into the message thread. Along with this message, a URL could be published for the poster/responder to link to the top ten (10) major re-publishing and posting rules associated with the DMCA. This way, participants and posters to social networking sites would not have to be a lawyer or read countless hours of DMCA content to understand how they can legally and freely participate in freely sharing the news and their related ideas and opinions.
(II) Of course, it would not be appropriate for a money making venture such as Attributor Corporation to program and have the only keys to this online applet, since they could, hypothetically, use it to commercially milk the social networking sites whilst no one was the wiser. However, they are likely one of the few of the one Internet software development & online service corporations that may have any vital strategic interest in such and applet and service. It is important that an independent, pro Free Speech organization software engineer and own such an applet, whilst denying it to Attributor.
Thus, as I see it, unless ALL SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES want their Free Speech rights diminished, many of them should link up to form an Social Networking Industry Consortium for Support of Free Speech (SNIC-Free, sorry for the crude attempt at an acronym) that bolsters the power of any and all social networking sites to adroitly interact with companies such as Attributor Corporation as well as and immediately, massively and gravely respond to such threats to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
(III) Lastly, if you do not want to work on this route, another route is possible. Redirect the emerging boycott Reuters concept to a two-front attack. Foster the Reuters boycott concept to help put dents in Attributors momentum. Also, open a second front, in which you foster GLPers to boycott any and all companies financed by the venture capital companies that funded Attributor. Some of those venture capital companies are: Sigma Partners (Menlo Park, CA), JAFCO Ventures (Palo Alto, CA), Selby Ventures (Menlo Park, CA), Draper Richards, L.P. (San Francisco, CA), First Round Capital (San Francisco, CA) and Amicus Capital L.P. (San Francisco, CA).
(IV) Lastly, with the knowledge that seemingly ALL of the venture funders of ATTRIBUTOR CORPORATION are located in the liberal, actively free speech oriented region called the Bay Area, it might be highly intriguing to reporters from the San Francisco Chronicle or the San Jose Mercury News to investigate this new phenomenon and publish a news story on how social networking sites are gonna deal with a future in which the free exchange of news, opinions and content by participants of and posters to blogs, forums, bulletins, nings, chat rooms and social networking sites is THREATENED by those commercial entities that wish to clamp down on free speech in order to make a buck.