The keyword in your reply is "systematic". This site is not systematically infringing against a specific supplier. No judge in the land would consider 'our' use anything other than fair.
(Trained journalist, ex-ITN, ex-EMAP etc etc etc)
Regardless of whether or not it is a systematic infringement or not, if the site was served with an NTD, the content would have to come down.
Purely hypothetically: Imagine I have a popular website about matters which was of interest to PS.com, and someone decided to post, say 12 of my articles over a 12-month period. I discover this, and I get upset: PS.com is indexed in Google, and so someone searching for "topic on my website" will find both PS.com and my website. This means that my results are being diluted, and two problems emerge: 1) People can read my articles here on PS.com, which means that I don't get the traffic, I don't get the ad impressions, and I lose money and 2) I rank lower in the search engines due to duplicated content
To deal with this, I send a NTD to the site owner, demanding they take all my content down immediately. In this scenario, PS.com can choose to do one of three things:
- Take the content down (and admit that they were in the wrong, which opens a can of worms for the next person who comes along, this time with a compensation claim)
- Take the content down 'out of courtesy', but not admitting liability
- Leave the content up, claiming fair dealing.
Personally, if PS.com chose for the latter option, I would send another NTD, along with an invoice for unauthorised use of my content, and a threat to go to court. If the content stayed up, I would NTD the PS.com web host
, speak to a solicitor, and initiate court proceedings.
I doubt it would take very long for PS.com to fold (the web host would have to act on my claim and either remove the threads or shut down the whole web server). Now, they would have to take the content down and pay my invoice (which would probably be in the region of a couple of thousand pounds), or face me in court.
As I said, it's all hypothetical etc, but PS.com is a high-profile site with a lot of police staff; It's not unthinkable that someone would go out of their way to get back at us somehow, and if they play for maximum disruption they could cause a lot of trouble.
All I'm saying is that I don't fancy PS.com's chances in a 'fair dealing' defence, and that if the bulk of the people on this forum are pledging to uphold the law, we should probably consider stricter standards in all aspects of law - including rights-clearing the use of avatars made available to forum members
(check out the cartoons, for example), and emphasising the importance of staying on the right side of copyright with regards to news articles etc.
(also trained journalist, ex-Channel 5, ex-Future etc