News Genius

Has anyone else been following this?

Sounds like it came from Rap Genius, it lets people annotate over articles on the web in lieu of commenting.

Seems to have some serious potential for abuse.

@glennf has been writing & tweeting about it a while, he just posted a couple of good links.


Yes, it’s a really interesting problem. I utterly the support the right to comment and critique. I’m a big fair-use advocate, as I think corporations have used legal asymmetry to reduce the ability to defend fair use. But what Genius is doing (and the W3C annotation standard appears poised to do in a more severe way) is remove all control in all circumstances from someone being able to control any aspect of their web pages’ presentation.

In a social-good setting, I can see how CNN shouldn’t be able to post news and then be immune to even 100% reproduction in a way that’s required to provide strong critique. Courts have found in favor of that.

But in most cases, citation is the bigger factor: Long quotes or even screen captures are more defensible, useful, and transformative than “here’s a proxy-retrieved Web page that we’ve splattered lightly moderated comments all over.”


Remember these “Genius” guys are jackasses.


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