BlogNews.am has sent written requests to several local online news outlets, requesting permission to republish their content from time to time.
“The editorial team of the BlogNews website is planning on launching a new section of the site where the most noteworthy articles, news, and reports published in the media will appear. Since your website is one of Armenia’s leading websites, we would also like to publish your content throughout the day.
“We would like to inform you that your website’s name immediately followed by a clearly visible active hyperlink, through which our readers, if they wish, would be able to visit your site, will appear at the top of any content lifted from your site, in the most visible spot,” reads the letter, in part.
One of the recipients of this letter, Aravot editor Anna Israelyan, believes that these types of offers are the result of news outlets’ initiatives in copyright protection.
“This is a direct consequence of my colleagues’ fight against plagiarism and ‘copy-paste journalism’. I am happy to say that after the statement by [local newspaper] editors, we received proposals to sign an agreement and use our content from not only BlogNews, but also several other [news] websites,” she says.
Aravot, however, has its conditions for cooperating with BlogNews.
“Among online news media outlets, BlogNews, unfortunately, has one of the largest audiences, and if such an opportunity is given, we will make use of it if they agree not to publish articles in their entirety, but only to publish the lede or a small excerpt and then guide [visitors to our site],” says Israelyan.
Another news outlet to receive this offer of cooperation from BlogNews is Tert.am. Its chief editor, Gevorg Sahakyan, likewise finds that the offer is a result of issues raised by news outlets.
“This is a consequence of several news outlets’ recently being more demanding and disseminating statements related to this. BlogNews, it seems, is trying to prevent a deadlock situation and wants to find a solution to get out of that situation,” he says.
The Tert.am editor considers cooperation with BlogNews possible only if the latter properly references the source.
“We are going to refuse cooperation in their proposed format. We require a conscientious reference; that is, in republishing the content, say, “this is reported by this-and-this website,” citing [i.e. hyperlinking to] the website, or republish a portion of the piece and write, “for the details, go here.” Otherwise, it turns out, you bring the flour, knead the dough, bake [the bread], and they come and steal the bread, label it “so-and-so’s bread,” and sell it,” says Sahakyan.
BlogNews chief editor Aram Antinyan denies any connection between their offer and the recent statement issued by newspaper editors.
“We never made offers of cooperation before because we simply didn’t [re]publish news outlets’ content. BlogNews was a platform focused on the blogosphere. We found the fair and just way of working with bloggers, and now we want to have also news websites’ [content] on our site apart from bloggers’, and we’re considering ways to work with news websites,” he says.
According to Antinyan, they want to work in a way that is advantageous to all.
“With news websites, we have to think of a way to work properly, nicely, and that’s acceptable for both of us. We want their news to appear on our site, and we want to understand what we can offer in return. No matter how established a news outlet is, it will never be opposed to having additional readers,” he says.