There are several possible implications to today's one-day court case and settlement involving the Boston Globe (part of the New York TImes Co.) and GateHouse Media, which sought redress for the cut-and-paste aggregation of its content by the Globe.
The first is most obvious: A chill. Will media feel less emboldened to link and attribute content to others? I have to think that, and I would imagine many others will do so, too, even if the settlement appears vested in two parties and two parties only.
The second is less obvious: How do we develop a link economy if there are bilateral or multilateral agreements all over the place guiding the conduct of sharing content? It layers what could be a more you-scratch-my-back, I-scratch-yours world. If linking is the foundation of the work of curating, then how is it affected by exemptions and specific deals?
I don't know my American media law, so I'm not sure why the arrangement was so quickly enacted, but it seems strange considering the generosity and assistance of the NYT Co. that it would so quickly fold its hand.
I need a few days to think about this. Meantime, fellow Canadian Matthew Ingram posts on it at the Nieman Media Lab here.