Northern Light Expands Content, Attacked By Writers

Northern Light Expands Content,
Attacked By Writers

From The Search Engine Report
Feb. 3, 1998

Northern Light now has material from nearly 3,000 publications available within its "Special Collections" area. It added more than 1,000 publications to the area at the end of January.

The Special Collections area allows people to search through articles from publications such as the Atlantic Monthly, The Economist and Rolling Stone. Matches are displayed, and users pay $1 to $4 to read the full-text of a story. Northern Light also offers a web-wide search service, which is free.

The Special Collections area also came under fire in January from freelance writers, concerned that their material possibly is being resold without permission.

Northern Light is not the only service to offer article reprints. However, it does allow free searching of the material its sells. That makes it an easy target for writers looking for misuse.

Northern Light buys the right to resell its Special Collections material mostly from third parties, and its says that any dispute is with these content aggregators. The writers and their organizations say Northern Light and others reselling articles without a writer's permission are liable. The articles below go into the issue in more depth.

Northern Light

Northern Light in Hot Water with Freelancers
Wired News, Jan. 26, 1998

Summarizes the grievance writers have raised with Northern Light over finding their articles resold without permission.

Northern Light Web Site May be Violating Your Copyright
National Writers Union

The NWU is threatening action against Northern Light. This page has links to letters it has sent the search service.

Is Your Name Up In Lights?
American Society of Journalists and Authors, Jan. 23, 1998

A good summary of how Northern Light and others acquire reprint rights and how to tell if you, as a freelancer, have a real complaint.