Press packets illegal?

Some press packets might be illegal according to the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

Here's what happened: Knowledge Networks, a market research firm,...

Some press packets might be illegal according to the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

Here's what happened: Knowledge Networks, a market research firm, had been internally distributing press packets that contained copyrighted articles owned by SIIA members, including the AP and UPI. SIIA found out about this and investigated. Then last week Knowledge Networks agreed to pay $300,000 to settle the copyright infringement claims.

So how does an agency stay in compliance? There are a lot of factors at play, Scott Bain, SIIA's lawyer, told me.

"I can say though, if a company is routinely making copies of materials to which it doesn't have a license - it is unlikely that is fair use," Bain said. "The safest thing is to make sure you have a license to do what you're doing."

See the print edition for more on this. I'd also like to hear your thoughts, either via this blog or by email to aarti.shah@prweek.com.

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