By Patrick Brogan
The court cases against The Liberal.ie have been settled. Both Independent News and Media and the court reporting service CCC Nuacht Teoranta took legal action against Leo Sherlock’s site for numerous breaches of copyright infringement. The company was forced to pay an undisclosed fee and issue an apology.
Hidden away on TheLiberal.ie was an insincere apology. Young writers were blamed rather than Sherlock himself. Does he have no oversight on the content? Then the Indo was criticised. “This was not done in a malicious fashion and the terrible emotional hurt which appears to have been caused to a large global media organisation is particularly striking.” Yes, people do get upset when you rob their content, regardless of the size of the media outlet.
The courts were also blamed. “Information pertaining to decisions taken in Irish courts is something TheLiberal.ie feels should not be owned by anyone. However, as that appears to be the system that currently exists in Ireland, we have decided to shortly launch a new subsidiary specialising in court reporting. It is our intention that this service will be significantly cheaper than any offering currently available, in fact we hope to make it as close to free as possible.” They even managed to get an advertisement into the apology. Nice.
In the case of CCC Nuacht Teoranta, The Liberal had been warned many times to stop using their content; “The company took this case after Mr Sherlock repeatedly ignored repeated attempts to resolve blatant infringements of our intellectual property.” They also added; “We believe this victory in the courts is a victory for professional journalists, especially those working on a freelance or agency basis, who put time and work into ensuring their work is accurate and fair.”
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