Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Aug. 19, 2021
By Eric P. Robinson, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Embedded graphics may lead to copyright troubles

Hopefully most reporters, layout artists, and web designers at media companies understand that they can’t simply copy a photo or other illustration they find online and use it in their print, broadcast or online news report, without regard for any copyright issues. (Then again, maybe they don’t, since that scenario is a constant source of litigation.)
Until a recent court decision, a way of avoiding the copyright problems online, instead of downloading an image and then uploading it to illustrate a story, was inserting coding to “embed” a graphic or photograph, so that it appears to users of a website but has not been copied and uploaded to that site. Instead, it remains stored as part of the site where it originated, which presumably has the copyright or obtained permission to use the image. This technique is used not only to “embed” photos and graphics, but is also often used to show social media posts in news content.
The legal principle allowing this, known as the “server rule,” originated in a 2007 decision by the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers nine western states. The case involved Google’s display of thumbnail versions on its site by embedding photos from the Perfect 10 website; the court held that such embedding was not copyright infringement because no actual copying was involved. According to a law review article on the subject, in the years since virtually every court that has considered the issue has adopted the reasoning of the “server rule.”
But 2017, federal trial judges in both Texas and New York rejected this concept, holding that use of an embedded link to display a copyrighted image without permission could violate the copyright owner’s exclusive right to display the image. The online free speech group the Electronic Frontier Foundation has decried these cases, calling one of them a “dangerous attempt to undermine the in-line linking system that benefits millions of Internet users every day.”
Most recently, in April another federal judge in New York used the “server rule” to dismiss a case against the website Mashable in an April ruling. But two other judges of the same court rejected the “server rule” in decisions in June and July, leading Instagram to forbid embedding of images from its site.
One or more of these New York cases could be appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, setting up the possibility of a conflict with the Ninth Circuit if the Second Circuit were to agree with the lower courts’ rejection the “sever rule.” Such conflicts often end up being resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Fourth Circuit, which includes South Carolina, does not appear to have ruled on the issue. Read more
SCPA's new Communications and Membership Coordinator, Kassidy Wright, graduated in May from the UofSC J-School. Kassidy loves spending time with her family's three dogs, including Sasha (pictured above).

SCPA hires Communications and Membership Coordinator

The S.C. Press Association recently hired Kassidy Wright as Communications and Membership Coordinator. Kassidy's first day was Monday and she'll work roughly 30 hours per week handling member services, design, projects and communications.
Some members may remember Kassidy because she worked with SCPA as a student intern last winter and spring assisting with the 2020 News Contest and 2021 PALMY Ad Contest.  
Kassidy recently graduated from the University of South Carolina's School of Journalism and Mass Communications with a degree in visual communications. She's a first-year graduate student at UofSC pursuing her Masters in Mass Communications with a track in strategic communication management. 
"We've been so impressed with Kassidy's work ethic and talents during her past SCPA internships and we can't wait to see what she can accomplish working with us on broader services and projects," said SCPA Co-Executive Director Jen Madden. "She's hit the ground running this week and we're excited for her to start getting to know our members."
While in college, Kassidy spent three summers working for the Office of Naval Research in the Naval Research Internship Enterprise Program (NREIP). During her internships, she worked on several mobile application designs and developments and wrote promotional articles. She's also volunteered for several STEM programs, where she taught elementary and middle school students robotics, coding and other technology skills.  
Kassidy is from Moncks Corner and enjoys photography, gardening and spending time outdoors. 
She can be reached at or 803.75.9561.
Hardee spent his summer at the beach interning with the Myrtle Beach Herald/Carolina Forest Chronicle. 

Francis Marion senior wraps up summer reporting internship at the beach

Editor's Note: As the summer comes to a close, so does the SCPA Foundation's internship program. Over the next month, we'll re-introduce you to our four interns and share how their summers went.
Senior Francis Marion University student Joshua Hardee spent the summer at Myrtle Beach Herald/Carolina Forest Chronicle covering a wide variety of stories and growing his reporting, copy editing and multimedia journalism skills.
Hardee covered a murder trial which gave him the experience of working as a reporter in a court room. He put his investigative skills to work when he reported on DHEC virtual health inspections. Hardee also wrote a profile on two local, longtime LGBTQ activists and founders of the Grand Strand Pride.
Hardee got up close and personal with the locals of Horry County while reporting this summer.
 “I discovered an entire of community of people along the Grand Strand that works together to protect and advocate for the sea turtles, from the Myrtle Beach State Park to local groups,” Hardee said. “I’m very grateful to have had this opportunity to explore as much as I did.”
Hardee says he was not only able to learn the area he was working in, but also the people.
“I couldn’t believe how much I learned about the job and about the area itself, especially Myrtle Beach, in just two short months,” Hardee said. “I’d only every really thought about Myrtle Beach as a tourist trap before. Reporting around there and meeting with all kinds of people showed me what made Myrtle Beach the increasingly diverse place that it is.”
Hardee says that although his experience working in a professional newsroom was more hectic than he expected, it was also more rewarding as well.
“I’m very grateful to have had this opportunity to explore as much as I did. I would like to thank the SCPA Foundation for selecting me as an intern and connecting me with the Myrtle Beach Herald. I would also like to thank everyone I worked with there; you made my internship a much more enjoyable experience all around.” 

Invest in the future of our industry

During the summer of 2021, the SCPA Foundation funded $16,000 worth of summer internships to deserving S.C. collegiate journalists. Please support the Foundation's valuable work by making a tax-deductible contribution today.

How to apply 

Internships are open to student journalists who attend a four-year college in South Carolina or reside in South Carolina and attend a four-year college elsewhere. Rising juniors and seniors, and recent college graduates are eligible. Applications for Summer 2022 will be available in September.

"Shooting Stars" by Robert Ariail

If you can't get enough of award-winning Camden cartoonist Robert Ariail, enjoy his new strip featured every week in the Charleston City Paper, which has granted us ongoing permission to republish it. Called "Lowcountry," the weekly feature, which is available for syndication in South Carolina newspapers, focuses on politics, human nature, the environment and public policy. More: Contact publisher Andy Brack.

People & Papers


Autumn Phillips named new executive editor of The Post and Courier

Autumn Phillips has been named the new executive editor of The Post and Courier, bringing a creative spirit and a wealth of leadership experience to the newsroom’s top job.
Phillips has served as The Post and Courier’s managing editor for 3½ years. She will succeed Mitch Pugh, who is leaving the state’s largest newspaper to become executive editor of the Chicago Tribune.
She assumes her new duties on Aug. 27.
“Autumn is a natural successor to lead our newsroom,” Publisher P.J. Browning said. “We were very fortunate when she accepted the job as managing editor three years ago after leading three of her own newsrooms. She is an integral part of our day-to-day news operation and we are excited to have her in this position.”
A Wyoming native, Phillips has played a pivotal role at The Post and Courier since arriving in February 2018. She previously worked for Lee Enterprises, serving as the executive editor at papers in Idaho, Illinois and most recently at the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa.
In Charleston, Phillips quickly immersed herself in the community, making it her mission to understand its people, history, culture and issues. She has led the newsroom’s daily operations and overseen major initiatives such as Rising Waters, the climate change series that was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist this year.
Phillips also has been instrumental in building The Post and Courier’s Investigative Fund, its upcoming three-year Education Lab and internal writing programs for professional growth.
“The years I’ve spent as managing editor at The Post and Courier have been a dream job for me and I’m more than excited to be given the chance to continue at this paper and in this city in a new role,” she said. “This is an incredible newsroom with a talented, creative staff that has a sense of purpose and a passion for great storytelling and deep investigative journalism. I’m looking forward to many more years of being a part of it.”
By Glenn Smith, The Post and Courier | Read more

Industry Briefs

CPJ calls on US to protect Afghan journalists after Taliban takeover

The Taliban must immediately cease attacking journalists and searching their homes, and allow members of the press to operate freely and without fear of violence or reprisal, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday.
Since the Taliban took power in the country earlier this week, militants have searched the homes of at least four journalists and news agency employees, according to journalists and representatives who spoke with CPJ.
Separately, CPJ is investigating news reports that Taliban militants beat at least two journalists in the city of Jalalabad, in eastern Nangarhar province, while they were covering a protest against the militant group’s takeover.
“The Taliban needs to stand by its public commitment to allow a free and independent media at a time when Afghanistan’s people desperately need accurate news and information,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “The Taliban must cease searching the homes of journalists, commit to ending the use of violence against them, and allow them to operate freely and without interference.”
From the Committee to Protect Journalists | Read more

Upcoming Events

powered by emma