Post of the day, if not the month. Now if you haven't figured it out, I don't post all the awesome stories I read if I think it gives me a competitive advantage. Hey, it's a dog-eat-dog world out there in media. However, I think the question of copyright and what is acceptable use/fair use is an important topic that we all have to understand.
To be honest, all of our parent organizations have their own rules and interpretations of the law. Much of that formed through years of getting into lawsuits from mistakes or misunderstanding.
This post gets into the weeds of how journalists can use, or not use, material that's out there. Just so my media friends don't think I'm crazy, "works prepared by the federal government generally are not copyrightable" has always been my stance and I think that also covers state and county material. Heck, not only are "we" paying for it with our taxes... governments generate a lot material specifically to be distributed (well, except for law enforcement and spy stuff... NSA anyone?).
I believe this is a must read for those in the business and the download is free!