Invading copyright is just a game for The Times

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 6 July 2008

The Times had an online feature at the weekend celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the Space Invaders game that did so much to popularise electronic arcade gaming when I was a youngster. Embedded in the feature was a widget allowing you to replay your wasted youth.

This is, of course, the forward thinking kind of use of multimedia on newspaper websites that I would usually be full of praise for. There was just one teensy problem. The opening screen of the gaming widget was a disclaimer about copyright.

"This game is an unofficial clone of the original Space Invaders game and is not endorsed by the copyright owners Taito Corp"
The Times' copyright infringing Space Invaders feature

This contrasts strongly with the footer of the page.

The Times not only asserts their own copyright, but also proudly displays the 'ACAP Enabled' badge that symbolises the publishing industry's attempt to play the copyright infringement card against Internet search engines.

The Times footer with copyright assertion and ACAP logo

It seems more than a little hypocritical that The Times has a lot less respect for Taito's copyright than they expect anyone else to have for their own.

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