You are here

How copyright laws obstruct the preservation of historically important documents

When I recently re-read my article
Murdoch media contradicts itself on immigration
of 18 Feb 09, I found that the articles in the Murdoch Press I had cited and linked to from that article were no longer available on-line. (See also, my comments at the end of that article.) If publishers are not prepared to preserve copies of documents published on the Internet, then why should others be prevented from doing so by the copyright laws?

When I recently re-read my article
"Murdoch media contradicts itself on immigration," of 18 Feb 09 I found that the articles in the Murdoch Press I had cited and linked to from that article were no longer available on-line.

As the title of the article suggests, it showed contradictory information about immigration in three different articles in the Murdoch press. The articles were:

The first two were unambiguously pro-immigration. The first was of a supposed immigration success, Frank Lowy, whose principle contribution to Australia is the building a vast empire of shopping malls which have replaced the publicly owned markets where small retailers could once sell their wares to the public and make a decent living for a fair day's work. Today, small retailers are charged phenomenal rents to able to do business in Lowy's vast concrete mausoleums. The second was a report of the Courier Mail's owner's public lobbying for more immigrants.

The last story, whilst seemingly also of the successful immigration of English immigrants to Australia might have caused many readers to wonder, if high immigration and high population growth were so beneficial, then why did it seem to cause people from a country which had opened its doors to immigration to want to flee from there?

Not wishing to be in breach any copyright laws I limited the amount of material I quoted from those articles in my own.

That was fine, when interested readers could check the articles in full for themselves. However, these excerpts are now all that is left of those articles that candobetter site visitors can easily access. So, they are unable to get more information available in those articles about how the Murdoch organisation has been seeking for some years to impose high immigration on Australia and they are unable to view the article on English immigrants in Moreton Bay in order to better verify my claim that the article bears out my argument that high immigration to the UK has been detrimental to UK residents.

It seems that one effect of copyright laws is to allow important historical documents that could well embarrass some powerful vested interests to go missing.

Perhaps it should be made a condition of granting copyright that the owners of the copyrighted work undertake to preserve the work and on-line access to it at least until such time as anyone who had expressed to the copyright owner interest in having a copy of the work had been given an opportunity to obtain his/her own copy. If the person seeking copyright is not prepared to give such an undertaking then copyright should be refused.


Note:
None of the Murdoch newspaper articles, linked to in this paragraph, were available online when I checked just now on 25 Mar 11. It seems that important historical documents that could well embarrass some powerful vested interests have gone missing. Many who would like to retain such records for future reference may not be able to do so legally, because of copyright laws. Perhaps it should be made a condition of granting copyright that the owners of the copyrighted work undertake to preserve the work and on-line access to it at least until such time as anyone who had expressed to the copyright owner interest in having a copy of the work had been given an opportunity to obtain his/her own copy. If the person seeking copyright is not prepared to give such an undertaking then copyright should be refused.

AttachmentSize
Image icon copyright-symbol-small.jpg3.63 KB
Image icon copyright-symbol.jpg9.56 KB

Comments

Another article from Murdoch's misnamed The Australian, which has disappeared, is of 2 July 2008 by Bernard Salt. Some of it has been extracted and posted here and below.

Extract from Check out Jackson's death becomes celebrity thriller in the Australian of from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/story/0,28124,25719720-25658,00.html

"THERE are still questions to be answered about the untimely death of pop singer Michael Jackson and I suspect these questions will continue to be asked long after he has been laid to rest.

The reason is that all the ingredients are gelling for a grand conspiracy theory.

To bake a delicious conspiracy theory, here's what you need: Take a celebrity with global fan appeal but make sure your candidate is aged between 33 and 50 (any younger and they haven't amassed the fan base necessary to incite hysteria after death; any older there's a diminution of the feeling of being robbed by their death). There's no "injustice" in an 80-year-old dropping dead.

(Blah, blah, blah, rhubarb, blah, blah - Princess Diana conspiracy theory - blah, blah, - Harold Hot's defection to the Chinese - blah, rhubarb )

But if you really want to create the perfect conspiracy theory, then have a celebrity power figure, say a 46-year-old US president, assassinated in public. And then have the whole thing captured on a single movie camera operated by a middle-aged man with an exotic name such as, oh I don't know, say Abraham Zapruder.

(Blah, blah, blah, rhubarb, blah, blah - fake moon landing conspiracy theory - blah, blah, rhubarb )

Other conspiracy theories question the motives behind global events: the bigger the event the greater the market for an elaborate theory.

Did you know that 9/11 was orchestrated by the CIA so a pretext could be established for George W. Bush to invade Iraq via Afghanistan? [1] The And this is because Bush wanted to please his father, who regretted not taking Saddam Hussein out after Desert Storm."

Footnotes.

1. The 2010 Movie Fair Game starring Naomi Watts as former CIA agent Valerie Plame (which ends with live footage of Plame testifying before US Congress) shows incontrovertible evidence that George Bush's Government faked evidence to construct a pretext for the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 by Australia, the US, the UK and other allies. (As Iraqi deaths are estimated by a number of authoritative sources to be at least 100,000 with The Lancet estimating 700,000 deaths (pdf) in 2006 and other sources higher and given that the invasion has wrecked the economy and inflicted poverty and unemployment on many formerly prosperous Iraqis, how Iraq could have been worse off if Hussein's dictatorship had endured has not been explained.) Don't hold your breath waiting for Salt and other journalists, particularly Murdoch journalists, to debunk the movie Fair Game.