Newspaper publishers attack news aggregators

Posted in Laws,Money by epictetus on February 1st, 2006

I saw a link to this reuters story on Arstechnica:

The Paris-based World Association of Newspapers, whose members include dozens of national newspaper trade bodies, said it is exploring ways to “challenge the exploitation of content by search engines without fair compensation to copyright owners.”

This is very typical of the content industry’s response to innovation. Google is bringing their sites more traffic and interest. I find their approach to be hypocrisy in the extreme; they claim Google is trying to profit from their works without fair compensation, when in fact Google is providing a valuable service. It’s the newspaper industry themselves who no longer provide the same valuable and necessary service they once did; the ability of the internet to instantly distribute content from writers to readers at little or no cost has made much of the service provided by publishers (who once served as a middleman between content and consumer) obsolete. An industry faced with the prospect of obsolescence, instead of finding ways to change their business model so that they can continue to provide a valuable middle-man service (like google is doing), are concentrating on trying to legislate a permanent monopoly, a “right to profit” in order to preserve their relevance.

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