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Ear to the Ground

Times Withholds Article in Britain

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Posted on Aug 29, 2006

The New York Times blocked UK readers from accessing an online article about new details in the British terror case. Instead, readers in England saw this explanation, “British law ... prohibits publication of prejudicial information about the defendants prior to trial.?


N.Y. Times:

If Web readers in Britain were intrigued by the headline ?Details Emerge in British Terror Case,? which sat on top of The New York Times?s home page much of yesterday, they would have been disappointed with a click.

?On advice of legal counsel, this article is unavailable to readers of nytimes.com in Britain,? is the message they would have seen. ?This arises from the requirement in British law that prohibits publication of prejudicial information about the defendants prior to trial.?

In adapting technology intended for targeted advertising to keep the article out of Britain, The Times addressed one of the concerns of news organizations publishing online: how to avoid running afoul of local publishing laws.

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