2018 has been a dangerous year for those who bring us the news: according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 129 journalists were killed this year. For the first time in history, the United States has been listed as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists to ply their trade. The President of the United States has been calling the media industry an "enemy of the people" for the past two years. Many of his acolytes have bought into his bullshit: news rooms have come under assault by gunmen. Bomb threats against TV stations have been made on a number of occasions. Nicaragua's government has hamstrung the nation's independent press. Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post was strangled and sawed to pieces by Saudi operatives. President Trump pretty much shrugged his shoulders and got on with his life. The hate and distrust showered on those working to cast light on the dark secrets that our governments would rather not be known are a budding fascist's wet dream.
And now, many of the nation's newspapers of record have suffered a cyberattack.
From The Los Angeles Times:
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A cyberattack that appears to have originated from outside the United States caused major printing and delivery disruptions at several newspapers across the country on Saturday including the Los Angeles Times, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The attack led to distribution delays in the Saturday edition of The Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and several other major newspapers that operate on a shared production platform.
The triumphant return of Bloom County is a reminder of the glory days of newspaper funnies, but this weekend's color strip was a hell of a reminder of how far we've come since the newspapers were the home of our daily chuckle. Read the rest
American Society of News Editors president David Boardman rails against the happy-talk optimism of the newspaper industry, who insist that the decline isn't that bad and will shortly turn around. Read the rest
Last week, I published my wife Alice's picture of The Gap's "death-camp chic" ultra-skinny mannequins. Various newspapers subsequently approached my wife for permission to use the pic, and while she gladly gave permission to the Washington Post, she was much more ambivalent about the awful Daily Mail, a hateful right-wing tabloid that keeps finding new bottoms to scrape.
After some deliberation, Alice told the Mail they could use the pic if they donated £250 to charity. The Mail cried poor and said they couldn't afford it and Alice bade them good day.
Then the Mail -- which makes a practice of threatening bloggers with big copyright lawsuits when their photos and copy are reproduced -- just went ahead and ran Alice's photos, even though they'd asked for, and been denied, permission. They didn't attribute the photos to her, nor did they link back to her. They didn't downrez them or use a thumbnail. In other words, they didn't do anything that militated for a fair use or fair dealing. They just took 'em, for their commercial operation. They even lifted Alice's quotes to the Washington Post and didn't attribute them, either.
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To add insult to injury, they remove all the linkbacks, present in the WashPo article, to my original tweet, and to Cory's BoingBoing post.
They don't even link to the WashPo article that they lifted the quotes and photographs from.
I've asked the Daily Mail to now pay up for the unauthorised use - and knowing infringement - of these pics.