News from the Reference Desk Category: Digital Literacy

Copyright Trends: Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Gonzalez

Copyright infringement has been a hot topic since the 18th century for print materials and exceedingly relevant  for digital files since the era of Napster in 1999.  In recent years, entities like copyright trolls and other digital watchdogs are always on the lookout to acquire significant monetary gain through litigious means, even if the accused is not the infringer but unknowingly provides the means to do so.  For example, libraries safeguard against infringement liability by requiring patrons to acquiesce to not partake in ‘Conduct which violates Federal, State, or local law including copyright and licensing infringement. before using our internet services.’  Copyright Trolls frequently win cases against service providers, but a recent ruling is fighting this trend.

On August 27, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit) decided that the owner of a senior living home which provides internet service to occupants will not be held responsible for copyright infringement inflicted by an unnamed guest or occupant.  Here is a synopsis by Stanford University Libraries and here is the Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Gonzalez court publication itself. Whether or not the results of this substantial case will make any lasting changes to copyright policy remains to be seen.

Fake News Resources

What is Fake News?

“Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word.”– PolitiFact

Fake news is a type of completely made up and deliberately spread story, manipulated to resemble credible journalism and to attract maximum attention and, with it, gain revenue or political gain.– The Guardian

Fake News is NOT:

-New– it’s been around since the advent of printing.
-News you disagree with
-News that paints someone who you admire in an unflattering light.
-Satire (see below).

How to Spot Fake News

-Some sites are upfront about publishing satire, e.g. The Onion, Borowitz Report, ClickHole. Check the “About” section of a site if unsure.
-Avoid sites that end in “.com.co” and “lo”; these are more often than not entire fake news sites.
-Be aware of promoted or sponsored posts– companies have paid for these to appear on social media feeds, websites, and even Google searches.
-If a story elicits a strong emotion response, read on! Shocking headlines (clickbait) are often designed to stun readers into sharing them without fully reading the article.
-Use multiple sources to fact-check stories.

Albuquerque Public Library Guide to Fake News
FactCheck.org
PolitiFact
Snopes
AllSides
Hoaxy
25 Fake News Sites Found on Facebook (compiled by Dr. Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College)
The News Literacy Project
12 Examples of Native Ads (And Why They Work)