ProPublica take the opposite approach to paywalls

Rather than trying to prevent others from lifting their content, the US investigative journalism operation ProPublica is making theft effortless.  From now on each story will automatically generate html to allow other users to lift their material – formatting, links and all.  Secondary users are allowed to republish the material at will under a creative commons licence.  Here is their story announcing the innovation – brought to you via their html generator. 

Stealing Our Stories Just Got Easier

by Mike Webb ProPublica, Today, 10:15 a.m.

With the redesign of our site, we’ve made it even easier for you to reprint our stories for free. Now all you have to do is click the “Republish” button below each story headline and follow the instructions.

When you click on the button, you’ll also get the HTML for the story, so you can cut and paste it right onto your site.

We’re covered under a Creative Commons license and our basic rules remain the same — the content is free, but you have to credit us, include all the links in the story, and you cannot edit the piece. Here are the details.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our communications guy Mike Webb at communications@propublica.org. And thanks again for not breaking the law.

Update (11:45am):   Thanks to the HuffPost Investigative Fund for the idea of allowing readers to grab the HTML itself.

About the Author

www.tim-dawson.com