This is kind of scary. (Via Japundit.)
The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper was awarded compensation from a small Internet firm that used its news headlines without permission, in a first-of-a-kind ruling in the country.
The Intellectual Property High Court, a special branch court of the Tokyo High Court, ordered Digital Alliance Corp. to pay about 237,700 yen (2,000 dollars) to the Yomiuri.
The court said the use of news headlines by Digital Alliance was illegal. It is the first ruling in Japan giving protection to news headlines.
But presiding Judge Tomokatsu Tsukahara said that headlines were still in a legal gray area as they are not mentioned under Japan’s Copyright Law. He did not order Digital Alliance to pull the Yomiuri headlines off its website.
There’s also a little note at the bottom:
Agence France-Presse has sued Google for copyright infringement, saying the Internet search engine was displaying its news and photos without permission.
The article was written by AFP.
Conceivably, I could be sued for quoting the article in my post. There’s always been that danger, which is why I don’t post the full text of any news article here. I typically try to keep my quotes short, and make sure to link to the original article. (This is problematic because news sites often don’t keep archives, so years down the road it’s sometimes impossible to tell what I was talking about.) I’d like to think that fair use applies for quotations, but that would ultimately be up to a judge. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of such a case.