GateHouse Media Sues New York Times Co.

A desperate media company is making a desperate move.

GateHouse Media Inc., which owns several Kansas newspapers and 125 local newspapers across Massachusetts alone, is suing the Boston Globe‘s parent company, which is the New York Times Co.

According to Dec. 22 articles from both GateHouse News Service and The Boston Globe, the lawsuit centers on local Web sites and news aggregation.

GateHouse operates The Newton Tab, Daily News Tribune of Waltham and other newspapers and their Web sites.

The Globe reportedly implemented Web sites in GateHouse’s territory. These Web sites aggregated local headlines besides containing original Globe reporting.

Gatehouse filed the suit claiming the headlines and story teasers were ripped “verbatim” from their sites.

The Globe refutes the illegal nature of its actions because the headlines and story teasers link directly back to the GateHouse site on which the story originated.

As The Globe article pointed out, “the suit raises critical legal issues about what type of linking is permitted on the Internet.”

Bloggers and other Web sites often link to other media outlets, especially media giant Google, Inc., which aggregates news from thousands of news Web site from around the world and presents the headlines and links to the story via it’s Google News page.

GateHouse is claiming copyright infringement, but that is erroneous.

Linking out to other media outlets helps everyone.

It drives traffic to the site being linked to, and the site doing the linking out creates a place for readers from which all the news they need can be found in one place.

Linking is the way the Web works. Online everything is free, open and easily accessible, even if the accessibility means helping users find what they need on a competitor’s site.
The New York Times Co. and The Boston Globe are not in the wrong.

Linking drives traffic, so GateHouse should be thankful it was linked to.

GateHouse is in trouble. It is a company on its deathbed, and this suit is a desperation move to try and validate the sorry nature of a company that can’t even trade its stock anymore because it dipped below $0.10 a share and was banned from big-board trading.

This whole business of linking could be solved, according to GateHouse, if The Globe simply linked to the Web sites main pages instead of establishing deep links that go directly to the story page.

That is asinine.

Deep links are vital to Internet journalism.

Links allow important stories to be read by the masses when they could conceivable be overlooked if they are buried on a site’s main page.

If this lawsuit sticks, it could endanger the way online journalism works.

Without links, Web site users will also be hurt because they won’t be able to easily find all the information they want and need.

GateHouse needs to step into this century and understand the way the Internet works.

Links are important in online journalism. A good media company would understand that, which explains a lot about the state of GateHouse.

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About toddvogts 773 Articles
My name is Todd Vogts. I am an assistant professor of media. I like the color green, riding my motorcycle, and being with my family and friends. A good book is a perfect companion for me any time, and I'm a published author and journalist. Visit my website at and follow me on Twitter at

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