You may have wondered where Wildmind’s news stories have gone. By way of background, since around 2002 we’ve been looking out for stories in the media that feature meditation, and posting them in our blog. Mostly we’ve posted extracts with a link to the original source.
Just today, however, we became aware of a dangerous new practice that’s affecting blogs that post news stories. Wired revealed that a company called Righthaven has purchased the rights to the news stories published by two large newspaper groups, and has begin aggressively suing bloggers. Ostensibly this is about protecting the copyright of the newspapers, but it’s clear that Righthaven is in it for the money: they sue, asking for $75,000 per copyright violation, rather than issuing a takedown demand (which is the more usual, reasonable, and civilized approach).
We have no way of checking, without spending many hours of research, which of our stories originated from the hundreds of newspapers represented by Righthaven. And we’ve no way of knowing what amount of text they regard as “fair use.” So we’ve decided that it’s wisest to take down virtually all of our news stories rather than risk being bankrupted.
We still have the posts saved in our database, in case we’re able to clarify the situation. We find it unfortunate, though, that it’s necessary to be defensive even about posting extracts of news stories.