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AP and 28 News Groups To Collect Fees From Aggregators 303

Posted by samzenpus
from the that-link-will-cost-you dept.
jjp9999 writes "The Associated Press is launching the NewsRight project to make aggregators pay for content. Some of the top names in the news industry are currently on board, including New York Times Co. and Washington Post Co, and they're currently negotiating with Gannett, Tribune, Cox and News Corp. The project will license original news from the media companies and collect royalties from aggregators. The use of lawsuits and threats of lawsuits are already on the agenda. NewsRight's first salesperson starts work this week."
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AP and 28 News Groups To Collect Fees From Aggregators

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  • RightHaven (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:09PM (#38605472)

    I'm sure they will have worked out the bugs that RightHaven have, and continue down that same road..

    • Re:RightHaven (Score:5, Interesting)

      by wiedzmin (1269816) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:23PM (#38605566)
      First thing I thought of, when I saw "NewsRight". That, and Einstein's definition of insanity.
      • "Salesperson" is a nice new euphamism for "enforcer".

      • "First thing I thought of, when I saw "NewsRight". That, and Einstein's definition of insanity."

        Yes, my thoughts exactly. I am not at all confident that they have "worked out the bugs"; I fully expect them to step in it just as badly as Righthaven did.

        Sony still hasn't learned some of its lessons. I expect more of the same from the other media groups.

    • Re:RightHaven (Score:5, Insightful)

      by alexborges (313924) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:29PM (#38605970)

      Well I think its time they collect. AP, NYT and news agencies have people on the ground and they pay them to provide info. We as a free society (not the US only, all of occident), need this kind of setup to get information. Even if its slanted, at least the payment is for info itself, not for the slant.

      If we leave this market untouched, then all we are going to hear about, is whatever advertisers are willing to pay for.... think about it.

      • Re:RightHaven (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wagnerrp (1305589) on Friday January 06, 2012 @02:18AM (#38607132)

        Why is it time they collect? I'd actually like to see some analysis that compared gained traffic from click-throughs, to lost traffic that only read the summary on the aggregator. Let the aggregators disconnect those participating news sites, and see who gets hurt more by the separation.

      • Re:RightHaven (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday January 06, 2012 @05:53AM (#38607868)

        "If we leave this market untouched, then all we are going to hear about, is whatever advertisers are willing to pay for.... think about it."

        Uh... I hate to be the one to break this to you, but that has been the way TV has always worked -- and newspapers, too, for a couple of hundred years, at least.

        So you think that suddenly this is an insufficient model for making a profit? Or what?

        Agregators are not doing anything wrong, if all they are doing is giving a summary, and a link to the original source. It is EXTREMELY clear that this constitutes "fair use".

        • And I should add: not only is it fair use, but those agregators that do it properly are sending people to the original source! The news services should be kissing these people, not trying to charge them money.
      • Re:RightHaven (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TrekkieGod (627867) on Friday January 06, 2012 @09:27AM (#38608678) Homepage Journal

        Well I think its time they collect. AP, NYT and news agencies have people on the ground and they pay them to provide info. We as a free society (not the US only, all of occident), need this kind of setup to get information. Even if its slanted, at least the payment is for info itself, not for the slant.

        If you want to pay to support these guys, then get a subscription. Aggregators are just providing summaries with links back to the their websites with the full story. I really want Google to just delist all these guys from news.google.com in response. "Well, we're not going to pay you guys, but if you feel that it's unfair for us to grab this content from you, that's fine, we'll stop." Then they can immediately watch their page hits fall by 40% at least.

        If anything, the news websites should pay aggregators to please include them.

      • by DarthVain (724186)

        So if I hear some news, and tell a friend I just copied their creative works, and violated their IP?

        If I hear about a hockey trade and tweet about it, should I be sued for possibly allowing the sharing of this information, with millions?

        I don't buy it, literately.

        If I copy word for word your entire article and call it my own and do not cite the source, then yes that would be a problem.

        However posting a quote or making a summary is not. Besides most news aggregators link the original source anyway, which wou

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      RightHaven didn't have the actual rights to the materials they sued about, and that's what took them down. In this case it are the original content produces, i.e. the actual right holders, that are trying to collect royalties.

      • Not if they form a group or service to do it for them... that is exactly the problem that Righthaven ran into.

        And, I might add: that is a problem that should be explored more fully in regard to the RIAA and MPAA.
  • RSS as Fair Use (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:10PM (#38605478)

    This is covered under Fair Use as one of the provision is reporting the news. Most RSS only provides a small snippet, enough to cover the basics of the story and is not subject to copyright.

    • Re:RSS as Fair Use (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:14PM (#38605508) Homepage Journal

      And in a few weeks it wont matter. All they have to do is point a finger in your general direction and you are 'disappeared'. Then you have to pay lots of money to fight your way back online.

      • Re:RSS as Fair Use (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Amouth (879122) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:27PM (#38605596)

        i think the aggregators should just be fair and delist these people.. you don't want them showing your content - fine.. rather than them learning how to use robots.txt just stop crawling them completely.. i'm sure that be great for their traffic streams.

    • RSS is covered by the ToS of a website, and that usually says that the content is for personal use only, like the RSS Ticker plugin for Mozilla... if you try to run a website based on it you'll need to pay for the rights or they'll cut you off or worse yet feed you fictional news. NewsRight is a new service for grouping those rights and having one payment for many sites worth of cont4ent

  • SOPA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:12PM (#38605496) Homepage Journal

    I bet this ties in to SOPA ..

    Let them keep their content, and their ad revenue. Screw them.

    • Re:SOPA (Score:5, Informative)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:28PM (#38605960)

      SOPA is about the takedown of servers that house illegal content.. and the overreach is that they'll take out a whole service to punish for one piece of offending content. This is about the AP stepping up and selling a bundle of content suppliers for one price, essentially making a legal store so there's a right way to do it.

  • First post (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sonamchauhan (587356)

    NewsRight will target companies that “make heavy (and commercial) use of content originated elsewhere. They are being asked to become payers rather than free riders,” states Poynter.

    What's wrong with this model? Its similar to how the FSF sues large commercial GPL violators [wikipedia.org] because they breached copyright the FSF owned.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by GuruBuckaroo (833982)
      I elected not to mod you down for one reason, and one reason only: Your post was well though out and insightful. I don't disagree with the content. But that "First Post" shit causes me to instantly devalue your input before even reading it. You're only hurting yourself.
      • Heheh, thanks... Yes, I was going to post something foolish (e.g. "lolz ... heres my insight... now pay me license fees"), before wisdom go ahold of me. :D

      • by migla (1099771)

        "But that "First Post" shit causes me to instantly devalue your input before even reading it. You're only hurting yourself."

        Appearance should not matter. Stuff should be judged by its merits, not its title.

        That's what I'd like to think the people namig their graphics program GIMP instead of, say, "Pixpulate Ultimate Pro Aluminum" or "Imagejob GT Klondyke Slim" had in mind.

        Bullshit is bullshit.

        • by badboy_tw2002 (524611) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:42PM (#38605702)

          I agree completely, migla. People should really spend more time digging in depth to find well thought out arguments instead of knee jerk reactions based on something as superficial as a title. Its not like a title is supposed to be some type of summary of the internal contents. They should probably just get rid of that box completely.

    • Re:First post (Score:5, Interesting)

      by devent (1627873) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:39PM (#38605674) Homepage

      Eh, not at all. The aggregators are using their right of fair use to aggregate news. They are not re-posting the original articles under their own name.

      That is another example how cooperations are greedy and try to extend copyright at all costs. It depends on what NewsRight will actually do, because TFA doesn't know yet. But maybe then even Slashdot will be required to pay.

      It's just beyond me, why the "... 28 co-investors, 30 additional companies taking part, and 800 news websites" are not coming together and start their own news aggregator web site. But than they have to produce something instead to resort to "lawsuits and threats of lawsuits".

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by devent (1627873)
        Btw, are threats of a lawsuit not actually illegal? Isn't that like coercion?
        • Re:First post (Score:5, Informative)

          by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe@jws[ ]he.com ['myt' in gap]> on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:05PM (#38605822) Homepage Journal

              It's covered by the RICO act (and other laws), and is known as extortion. It's basically summarized as, "I threaten to take legal action against you, if you don't pay me money."

              They know perfectly well that Mr. Blogger, who may make hundreds a year, can't possibly defend himself against a single corporation who makes millions, or a group of corporations who make billions.

              It's not even just the individual. They could take down Slashdot, as portions of the article are reused here. That *is* allowed by copyright law as fair use.

              What these publishers are going to find out is, if they kill off the bloggers who are partially republishing their stories and providing links, the traffic to the original publication is going to drop. I won't say it would be huge. That all depends on the publication. How many people read the NY Times directly, and how many catch an interesting story on Slashdot and follow the link to the NY Times?

              I strongly suspect that the average Mr. Blogger is not the target. They want the big fish with big money. Google News, Yahoo News, and other multi-million hit/day sites. I don't know, but I suspect, that they are already paying their tribute to the news corps for at least some of their feeds. This will severely impact mid-level news sites, who get tens of thousands of hits/day. They may make a few bucks at it from advertising, but that's a long way from being able to pay for feeds from AP, Reuters, UPI, etc. More often than not, the advertising revenue barely pays for their hosting.

              As it's clear that they are litigious bastards, they will work their way down the ranks, until they're filing 100k "John Doe" lawsuits every week. It could very easily get to the point where if you posted more than a few words that could have been in another story, you owe or get shut down.

              But, the litigious bastards will always win. Why? Because they have the money. They already own a decent portion of our political system, they can and will have laws changed in their favor. This has been proven time and time again. At very least, the litigious bastards can afford to keep it in court longer than you can.

          • by brit74 (831798)
            "It's covered by the RICO act (and other laws), and is known as extortion. It's basically summarized as, "I threaten to take legal action against you, if you don't pay me money."" How would that be extortion if the person has legal standing? It seems to me that a settlement is exactly this situation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_(litigation) [wikipedia.org]
            • Re:First post (Score:5, Informative)

              by mattventura (1408229) on Friday January 06, 2012 @01:03AM (#38606778) Homepage
              He's talking about when the person that is threatened with a lawsuit was never doing anything illegal in the first place, but rather is just being pushed around by a company because they don't have the resources to go to court. If they did have the resources, they would be found innocent.
        • by Professr3 (670356)
          If there's a pattern to it, it's barristry.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by bmo (77928)

          It is.

          And it's why Righthaven is bankrupt now.

          1. In order to sue, you must have standing. Righthaven did not have this, because in the US, at least, you /must/ own the copyrights in order to sue. Unless the AP and others are going to sign all their content over to this new organization, I doubt they will have standing because it is unlikely that the AP and others will willy-nilly sign over copyright on a bet.

          2. In order to not be tossed out of court on your ear for barratry, your case must be prima faci

      • by Kenja (541830)
        The aggregators in question are not just providing aggregated news but are using such article links as a means of revenue generation. Fair use does not cover charging money for providing such information nor do I think it extends to sites with heavy add revenue.
      • cooperations are greedy

        Lol

    • by MacTO (1161105)

      They are certainly acting within their rights, but I do wish that they would see news aggregators as a business opportunity. That article title and choice sentence or two represent prime advertising that pulls people into their advertising laden sites.

      Of course, they probably don't see it that way. They probably see their story summaries posted right next to the story summaries of their competitors and really can't have that. After all, it means their content and the quality of their work may be judged b

    • Re:First post (Score:5, Informative)

      by Microlith (54737) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:48PM (#38605738)

      Don't forget this bit:

      "We began working with Cisco in 2003 to help them establish a process for complying with our software licenses, and the initial changes were very promising," explained Brett Smith, licensing compliance engineer at the FSF. "Unfortunately, they never put in the effort that was necessary to finish the process, and now five years later we have still not seen a plan for compliance. As a result, we believe that legal action is the best way to restore the rights we grant to all users of our software."

      They worked with Cisco/Linksys for five years prior to the suit. Cisco had ample time and help to comply with the GPL before the FSF filed suit. They then settled when Cisco finally decided to step up and be compliant, I don't believe the FSF sought damages or financial compensation.

      So again, how are these similar?

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      What's wrong with this model?

      What's wrong with this model is that cartels mostly exist to fix prices higher than they should be and as a result, reduce competition.
      And they're probably going to crap all over fair use, whether they intend to or not.

      Its similar to how the FSF sues large commercial GPL violators because they breached copyright the FSF owned.

      If you can't see the difference between that and the Free Software Foundation, you might want to think about it a little harder.

      • by JakartaDean (834076) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:53PM (#38606104) Journal
        I read the news. A lot. The current system is broken. Look at sites like my.yahoo.com, which used to aggregate credible sources and provide links. I could choose a Reuters group, a Sports Illustrated group, Asia News, whatever. Clicking on a link would take me to a Reuters, eg, page. Now all the news links go to news.yahoo.com and give shit like this: http://news.yahoo.com/single-tuna-fetches-record-736k-japan-auction-040041043.html [yahoo.com] That's a yahoo.com page, with Yahoo links and ads all over it, with a small logo suggesting that the article came from AFP. Yahoo is eating AFP's lunch (and all the other people who do the work getting the news and writing it up). Parasitic is the best way to describe this. If this new venture can get good sources of news rewarded by collecting from aggregators then how does it make things worse? I'm completely in agreement with fair use; this ain't it.
        • by airfoobar (1853132) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @11:48PM (#38606388)
          And how do you know they don't have a license to put that up???
    • by J'raxis (248192)

      The FSF has absolutely no problem with you taking GPLed software "originated elsewhere" and reselling it commercially. All you have to do is provide the source code, too, and you're compliant with the GPL.

      So how do these two things compare again?

  • Or socialism?

    What if we'd just pool together alot of money to employ loads of journalists to do quality journalism, kind of like the how the BBC and other public service broadcasters work?

    It seems to me they (like BBC, SVT, YLE, NRK, which are the ones I've watched/listened to) do actual real journalism instead of commercial bullshit.

    • by Smallpond (221300)

      Who is this "we"? Are you offering to fund journalists? How much do you send to NPR every year?

      What's wrong with the idea that NYT, etc. pays journalists and then should get money from the people that read their stuff? They only have two choices:
      1) Provide it free and sell advertising on the page
      2) Make their website subscription only

      The problem they have with 1) is other sites ripping off the content and selling ad space on their "aggregate" website which usually copies a lot more than an excerpt. Freq

      • by Anrego (830717) * on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:34PM (#38605646)

        The problem is that it's well within the content providers ability to block legitimate sites from aggregating their content (see: robots.txt). They don't want to do that. Instead they want the benifit, _and_ want those sites to pay them.

        • This, in spades. They have the means to stop the crawling. if someone is ignoring that, deep-linking or passing-off other's work, then deal with that on a case-by-case basis (just like everywhere else in the world).
          Just because people know that all the major press entities are now corporate* owned, biased, not trust-worthy and now are being ignored - is no reason to go around and attempt legalised extortion.

          *By "corporate", I mean owned by faceless trusts held overseas, oligarchs or others rich enough to

      • What's wrong with the idea that NYT, etc. pays journalists and then should get money from the people that read their stuff?

        I don't think the OP is suggesting there is anything "wrong" with it as an idea.

        However I do think it's worth noting that it in practice it's a model that has become more difficult as distribution has become easier. The capability to print and distribute paper, access to airwaves or cable went a long way to supporting that model.

        As distribution continues to become increasingly eas

      • by migla (1099771) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:05PM (#38605824)

        I don't contribute to the NPR. Mainly because it's not my NPR.

        I did use to get bills for SVT when I had a TV, though, and the public service broadcasters SVT (here in Sweden) or YLE (in finland), like the BBC (I'd imagine) are in a whole other dimension of journalism compaired to any of the commercial offerings, being politically and commercially independent.

        I'm not saying your points of 1 or 2 are wrong, but that the solution to a copyright economy which is/{should be} dying is for people with the means to pay for it, as in from each according to their abilities etc., because we all want information and an informed public and not to be playing silly ownership games with bits, don't we?

        "Nationalise" or more appropriately "globalise" the AP.

        We (as in people in general) should pay a fraction of a cent or whatever for the AP journalists to keep doing their job, IMO.

        I'm not going to try to force it, but I just think it would be a sensible thing to do. We all benefit from the AP and the likes, don't we?

        • If I had any mod points left, I'd mod you insightful.

          While I truly feel for these news organizations that are bleeding profit left and right. It is their inability to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and they struggle on, grasping for branches in outcroppings as they fall down the copyright cliff. Copyright is dieing, but no one want to admit it. Which of course doesn't bode well for me either as a software business owner. But, i don't make my money from the general public.

          These companies all deserve

  • by LVSlushdat (854194) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:19PM (#38605542)

    Newsright Salesdroid: Hello Google? I'm from Newsright, and I'm calling to set up your payment plan for aggregation of AP/Gannett news on your website..
    Google: Say WHAT?? You've GOT to be kidding... We are NOT going to pay YOU!! In fact, YOU should be paying US to publicise YOU..
    Newsright Salesdroid: If you don't pay, we sue..
    Google: (sound of lots of laughter) Tell ya what.. Why don't we just NOT aggregate your content, that way we're happy/you're happy...
    Newsright Salesdroid: Ummm... I guess that would be ok...
    FAST FORWARD A MONTH..
    Newsright CEO at management meeting to salesdroid on Google account: WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO??? Traffic to our clients is down 85%, and they are
    PISSED... You're FIRED!!!!

    • Don't worry, Microsoft will pay for Bing. So it will only be down 80%.
      • by faedle (114018)

        I know the relationship has gone a little cold, but Microsoft makes a few phone calls to NBC and they have all the news content Bing needs.

        • MSNBC has always been a split venture between Microsoft's MSN and NBC News. At first they went in 50/50 with both sides of the business, but they eventually swapped some shares giving MSN control of the web site, and NBC control of the TV channel. Since that split, MSNBC TV has gone to a liberal politics channel, and MSNBC.com has focused on hard news.

          They once had a day where they tried to see what would happen if they did split up for good, and MSN News quickly opened and MSN News writers booked appearanc

        • Actually, Bing gets is news from the MSN half of MSNBC... MSNBC TV doesn't offer much beyond a liberal answer to FNC's political talk.

    • by _recluso_ (2446622) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:33PM (#38605634)
      similar to what already happened in Belgium with a newspaper: Belgian Appeals Court Says Google Must Pay Up For Linking To Newspaper Websites [techdirt.com]

      a few months later: Belgian Newspapers 'Give Permission' To Google To Return Them To Search Results [techdirt.com]
      • by bmo (77928)

        Thanks for that link. I remember the first one, and predicted the second, but I never followed up on it.

        I wonder whoever answered the phone at Google said "Yeah, we'll list you, maybe next month or maybe next year. We'll list earlier if you promise not to pull this shit again."

        --
        BMO

    • Google is the prototype aggragator. I saw a post that said aggragators display more than a fair use snippet and use that to get ad revenue. If someone is doing that news organizations (or whoever's content is being aggragated inappropriately) can contact and advise to get their content out of the web site and some of have been doing that. It's successful stopping the copying of articles by various interest sites.

      Now as to actual aggragators such as Google and others, they direct traffic to the content site.

  • slashdot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bs0d3 (2439278) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:24PM (#38605572)
    does this include slashdot?
  • I thought the whole point of distributing news articles through the Associated Press was to share them so ANYONE in the media, including so-called "New Media", could publish them.

  • by decora (1710862) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:59PM (#38605792) Journal

    might actually have to ---summarize a topic instead of copy-pasting the first fucking paragraph---

    what will become of the site?

  • clam up or stand up? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by superwiz (655733) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:08PM (#38605850) Journal

    Reporters: pay a license to NewsRight or don't write silly programs to auto review our content.

    Doctors: go through AMA accredited medical school and certification or forget about giving flu shots.

    Lawyers go through private (!!!) Bar association with its arbitrary rules to get into the profession or forget about practicing law

    Actors: no more than 2 SAG appearances without joining the SAG or you are in violation of the law.

    Programmers: all software should be free. Everyone should give away the secret sauce which makes their software run or they are acting immorally. For some added injury, let's invite hundreds of thousands indentured workers on H1 visas, to compete with professional programmers on wages and work conditions. Let's not call them immigrants (with all the rights of green card holders). Let's make them depend on their employer for 5-10 years to get a green card.

    Yes, there are top programmers who make what a doctor makes. But top doctors, lawyers and actors make 100 fold. I wonder why that is. I wonder what lawyers would cost if most lawyers thought that legal services were a right that must be given away as much as possible. You might think that I am trolling, but the pattern is unmistakable. Professions which do not give up control over results of their labor have higher wages.

  • I've got an instinctive negative reaction to news like this since it usually has something to do with the RIAA or such extorting money, but as long as this only applies to sites that really are just leaching off of newspaper content I'm not going to cry about it. Or course that isn't what's going to happen, in a few months we'll hear about how they're suing some sap with a two-bit blog who made a comment about such-and-such.

    Ah well. I give a little more slack to the newspapers since they're one of the few
  • by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated AT ema DOT il> on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:25PM (#38605942) Journal
    As it reads right now, this sounds like a huge game-change for the worse. Here are my questions:
    • Third-tier newspapers. How will this impact third-tier (neighborhood, college, special interest group) newspapers that relay their original content? Will they have to pay for partnerships to simply get their news? What if they "steal" it from a news aggregator like Yahoo! News or Google? Do they get penalised?
    • Paraphrasing. Let's say I'm a blogger and want to avoid getting fined by the news media cartel, so I buy a newspaper (or, again, take it from Google et. al) and paraphrase it. Or deep-link it so that's it far away from the original source. What happens then?
    • It sounds like this is an attempt to create the MPAA of news. On one hand, I feel like this won't really affect the casual reader since most folks get their news through a source that would not have problems with this (e.g. local channels, newspapers, Google News,e tc.) On the other hand, I feel like it's an immoral attempt to control the flow of information.

  • by Araes (1177047) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:25PM (#38605944) Homepage
    It seems that Google saw this coming, as there have been several stories in the last couple months about the fact that quotations, or wholesale reprints of articles posted by users on Google+ are being rated higher by the Google algorithm than the original articles. If this is actually true, and not just tinfoil hattery, then users may just become the routing mechanism for news while the official aggregator becomes a bit more barren. A similar mechanic may also work with sites like Twitter or Reddit if they are able to argue that they're not aggregating the news, and their users are just posting links to articles.
  • by lord_mike (567148) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:26PM (#38605956)

    By working as a group, they gain enough leverage to get what they want. If any of the individual companies pulled out of these news aggregators, the agreggators would be no worse for wear and the news company would suffer the lack of traffic. So, they band together to extract their protection money. Smart... probably illegal, but maybe not. After all the RIAA and the MPAA seem to operate as illegal trusts with impunity.

  • by russotto (537200) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:32PM (#38605988) Journal

    NewsRight demands fees. Microsoft pays and pretends they're taking the moral high ground, in a complicated fashion that actually kicks the money back to them somehow. Other big aggregators tell them they'd rather just not include the content, and blacklist the NewsRight providers. Newsright finds some small 1-person website run by a disabled female veteran putting out news for the blind in a screen-reader friendly format, and sues her for One Millon Dollars. Streisand ensues, and Newsright crawls away with its tail between its legs. Meanwhile the members of Newsright cut side deals with the big aggregators and/or withdraw from the organization.

  • by Rix (54095) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:38PM (#38606038)

    They might as well go with an already established brand.

  • by mykos (1627575) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:45PM (#38606064)
    I'd like that with a side of golden goose, please.
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Friday January 06, 2012 @12:26AM (#38606638) Homepage

    Step back from the question of copyright in the Internet age, fair use, quantity displayed, etc. Think about the meta-concepts, and it just doesn't feel right.

    Here's how the free market that is all sunshine and puppies is supposed to work: Joe makes something that he thinks people will enjoy. He puts it out on the market, and asks for some price. Bill walks by and decides he'd like to have that thing. So he looks at the price, compares it to his perceived value, maybe makes a counter offer, eventually he gives Joe more than it cost Joe to make it, and gets a product that is worth more to Bill than it cost. They both win, and they both decide to do it of their own free will. They're both so pleased with the transaction that they start thinking of ways to make it happen again. Bill goes and collects more dollars (by starting his own thing-making operation). Joe uses that money to make more stuff (by going out and giving his dollars to other people who sell materials). It's this crazy self-catalyzing engine of productivity.

    Now we have content. Bill decides not to pay the creator, but to profit from the content. It may be legal, but he's making a profit without paying the person who put the stuff together in the first place. Meanwhile, Joe doesn't start where he should, either. Instead of thinking, "Gee, there's a whole new way to distribute news. Maybe I could find a new way to package and sell this stuff. Maybe make it easier for new guys who are going to compete with Bill. Might even be a disruptive competitor will come along, pay me for access through this new system, and put Bill out of business. I should put out a press release saying that I'm looking to develop new kinds of relationships with entrepreneurs who are willing to pay for privileged access." No, instead of trying to innovate and compete Bill into irrelevance, he sues. I figure this largely boils down to Joe not wanting to develop a new product or new customers, he wants to take money from the companies that already have a lot of it because it is easier.

    I can't see either side as being the noble bastion of what is in the best interests of advancing the progress of science and the useful arts. Seems like both sides are total ponces who should be tossed under the bus at earliest convenience. Bill not paying, and Joe not innovating -- they're both consigning themselves to certain death. If Bill were paying, Joe wouldn't be pissed off and looking for ways to sue. If Joe were coming up with ways to package and sell his media to partner distributors that was a value-add compared to scraping (and I can sit here and come up with half a dozen ways off the top of my head), he wouldn't be getting his lunch eaten by a total elimination of the operational principle that made copyright work (copying used to have a non-zero cost).

    Right? Wrong? They're both idiots, and neither side has come up with a remotely acceptable answer to this new reality. The sooner we can get over our addiction to what worked 20 years ago and come up with some new answers for funding the creators of content, the better. Until then, this whole mess is fundamentally broken and I would rather see both sides crash and burn, see what comes from the ashes, than continue the charade that something good can come of this.

  • by ibsteve2u (1184603) on Friday January 06, 2012 @06:24AM (#38607970)
    There likely is an ulterior motive in this: Some of the media sources (uh...is Murdoch still on AP's board of directors?) and politicians (uh...all of 'em?) don't like the fact that it is so easy to prove that they're either lying now or lied at some point in the past. I.e., they'd like to eliminate your ability to pull both versions of "the truth" up and show them to the deluded.

    You think the Wayback Machine [archive.org] will get an exemption?

    I don't...guess if I'm right, that will tell you something.

    There is another angle that involves creeping capitalism, the ability to hire unlimited numbers of lawyers, and the outright ownership of the highest court in the land: Once this precedent is set, how long before Google et al have to pay a fee to show previews and even links to content?

    And finally...me, I'm not thrilled about a central clearinghouse for news distribution; the possibilities for censorship are absolutely disgusting.
    • There is another angle that involves creeping capitalism,...

      What is "creeping capitalism"? It sounds from the rest of the sentence like you are talking about the natural tendency of the powerful (in this case large corporations) to take over all of the levers of power in any centrally planned economy (fascism, socialism, communism, "crony capitialism").

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