Friday, September 11, 2009

Call to end free news

Article from: The Advertiser

DREW CRATCHLEYSeptember 11, 2009 12:01am
THE "misappropriation" of online newspaper content by rival media companies and internet search engine providers is the major challenge facing print media.
APN News & Media chief executive Brendan Hopkins also yesterday joined global media giant News Corporation – publisher of The Advertiser – in saying publishers should charge for access to online articles generated by newspapers.
Mr Hopkins said charging for online content would not be controversial if publishers offered high-quality unique content...
Mr Hopkins singled out search engines for particular criticism, saying their business models had been key in promoting the notion that journalism content was "free".
"To use an analogy, I see search engines as breaking into our homes, itemising the contents, walking out and listing everything for everyone to see. And they get money out of that process," he said.
"The only problem is, I don't see any revenue being paid directly from Google, Yahoo! or Microsoft in our company profit-and-loss accounts."

Full Article

Grumpy's Comment:
I expect we'll see a lot more of these 'stories' on Rupert's media outlets as they prime us for the concept of paid access to their sites. Sure, today they're only saying other news sites should be paying but they have already expressed a desire to make their news sites paid subscription based to the public as well.

However, if Google etc. are to be accused of breaking into their homes and taking the contents, surely providing RSS feeds amounts to leaving the key in the front door under a sign that says "come in and take our stuff". I know aggregators don't need RSS feeds but if you've already left the front door open, obviously it's no big deal if people come in through the windows as well.

Also, if this site and its sisters are to claim property rights over their contents, they should likewise be paying YouTube, Twitter, etc. for the huge amount of content gleaned freely from those sources. There are plenty of much better sources of news than this groups sites. In fact, almost every other news site has better content than this one.

I only come here for a laugh at the stupid stories anyway so I can do a Grumpy rant about them!