We endorse, you decide

So, there are two stories this week that are kind of enthralling to me from a journalistic perspective.

This week, we learned that MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has been suspended for breaking his employer's ethics code.

The line for what constitutes unbiased journalism is hazy and always moving. Each news organization decides for itself where that line is - as Olbermann's colleague Rachel Maddow points out in this clip.

The other story is, of course, about Cook's Source, the cooking magazine whose entire business model appears to be based on the assumption that "the entire Web is public domain." This would be hilarious if it weren't so infuriating. NPR's Monkey See blog has a pretty good roundup of the situation.

People believe ridiculous things about content on the Internet - everything from "if I change some of the words, that makes it my own original work" to "if you didn't want it stolen, you shouldn't have put it somewhere where I could copy it and remove all the Creative Commons invisitext." (For an example, let's turn to Cleolinda, who writes funny things on the Internet and is sometimes paid to do so - and therefore runs up against this issue ALL THE BLOODY TIME.)

The truth is that "copyright flows from the pen," which means that your original content is yours from the moment you create it, whether it's on the Internet or not. Isn't that comforting? (And it's so much more cut-and-dried than whether journalists can contribute to political campaigns!)