Will Rupert Murdoch Pay Me For Making Money Off Links To Techdirt?

from the I'm-sending-an-invoice dept

You may recall that over in the UK there has been a bit of a battle between online news aggregator NewsNow (which, again, in my experience is one of the best aggregators out there) and various newspapers who are demanding payment from the company. The issue is not NewsNow's "free" aggregator, but the fact that NewsNow makes most of its money from offering businesses custom, private aggregation of links. NewsNow isn't providing full content at all -- just links and headlines. But the complaint from newspapers is that NewsNow is selling this service to companies and making money from it -- and thus, they deserve a cut.

Now, as the battle has escalated, it appears that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has taken the next step and blocked links coming from NewsNow. It's not clear what happens to NewsNow users who click on News Corp. stories, but apparently they don't get the story. The link above goes through all of the many, many reasons that it is absolutely a bad idea, and extremely "anti-internet" to block links from anywhere, but this whole thing got me thinking.

Based on Murdoch and News Corp's reasoning here, I believe Murdoch owes me money.

After all, News Corp. is most certainly a commercial enterprise. And, as we all know, the Wall Street Journal charges many people money in the form of subscription fees (just like NewsNow does) for access to the information it provides. Now, over the past couple of years, the Wall Street Journal online has linked to Techdirt more than a couple of times. A quick search of their archives shows at least nine stories over the past two years. So, if Murdoch is saying that NewsNow can't charge a subscription and link to him, why is it okay for him to charge a subscription and link to me?

Clearly, the answer is that Rupert Murdoch owes me money. Consider my invoice on the way... Of course, the alternative answer is that Murdoch doesn't owe me a dime... and NewsNow doesn't owe Murdoch either. But how can that be? It isn't like we've seen Rupert Murdoch suggest that rules that apply to others don't apply to him. Oh wait....


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    TW2000, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    True

    Yes! I for one am done with big business. I think the biggest mistake Obama made was bailing out the big businesses.

    If you can't get your finances in order than you don't deserve to be around. Me personally, I just bought a Ford because Ford was the only auto company not to take bailout money. I will never buy from GM (Government Motors)

    TW2000

     

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  2.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 9:26am

    Me too!

    1. Create Blog
    2. Link to this Post
    3. Profit!

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    ChasW, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 9:34am

    Obviously, you should sue, lose the battle, and set the precedent. Or win and make tons of money! Win-win!

     

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  4.  
    icon
    Paul (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Permission to Link...

    In addition to linking to Techdirt without compensation, I wonder how often they link to *other organizations*? Wouldn't the total number of links without compensation be rather long?

    But isn't this whole "you have to give me compensation" just another version of the "you can't link to me without permission" claim? Haven't we already debunked this logic?

    Of course, they can block anyone they like, including people who have "clicked in" from sources they don't like (assuming they can tell and tell correctly).

     

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  5.  
    icon
    Lachlan Hunt (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    Seriously, send him an invoice! I'd be curious to know if they respond, though I doubt they'll pay.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    and lets not forget about this one too.
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100108/1446417680.shtml

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Jaws4theRevenge, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 9:48am

    Sarcasm may be the lowest form of humour, but the "Oh wait..." is the highest form of sarcasm.

     

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  8.  
    icon
    raimund (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Re:

    Mike's just using up the six SarcMarks he bought last week.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Tyanna, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re:

    That should be "Or win, set a bad precedent, and make tons of money!"

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Tyanna, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 10:09am

    Re:

    They would probably take the links down.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Tyanna, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Now, you'd think they would like the links in. I mean it gives them a higher search engine rating, meaning that their articles are likely ranked higher than others thus maybe making it on the front page.

    But wait, I forgot...Goggle is stealing from them too right?

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 10:12am

    Re:

    To set a precedent would mean that a big evil corporation (ie: not Google) loses to an individual the next time a corporations infringes on an individual. For an individual who infringes on a corporation, it's no big deal for the individual to lose. Even though the laws don't explicitly state it, the laws unfairly benefit the rich, or at least that's how the laws are applied. To set a precedent would mean that the outcome contradicts this fact.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    McBeese, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Unfortunately...

    Unfortunately, if you sent News Corp a bill, they would likely not pay it and simply state a position something like "You are within your rights to request that we pay you for aggregating your content and you are also within your rights to block links to your site from News Corp as we have done with NewsNow, should we decide not to pay." This would help bolster their case.

    News Corp views themselves as the dog and sees everything else as a tail. In reality, News Corp is the region directly south of the tail.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    AC, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 10:39am

    about that Google thing

    That's funny that Murdoch is so quick to block links coming in from NewsNow, but still hasn't pulled his stuff from googles index (robots.txt).

     

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  15.  
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    Bobano Boberina, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    WTF!

    One of the big ways I always heard to get the all important first page google results is by other sites(higher quality sites == more hits) linking to your site. So it would seem silly just for SEO reasons to not want peopel to link to you. I see the aggragators more like TV guides(or now the TV guide Channel). If you station isn't in the TV guide the only people who will find you are the ones that stumble across your blog? Once I got my blog into 10 aggragators, my daily readers went from 20 to over 300? Why woudl you be so silly.
    Plus once I get there from a news aggragator, I normally see an interestign article or two that the local news sites has as a link on their own page. I go to no daily news type site, I only go through aggragators, so why woudl they not want the links. They are losing ad revenue with every person they click away. It is funny when peopel let greed get them to make stupid, short term decisions. You at least knwo why they are failing.

     

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  16.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 12:14pm

    Re: True

    Yes, indeed.

    What has Obama done since he's been in office - I'm talking 100% non-partisan here.

    He's given money to big business
    He's given money to wall street
    He's given money to Bankers

    How many small businesses got 'bail-outs'? Any?

    GM sure did, so did FreddyMac and FannyMae.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    vastrightwing, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Pssst! Pssst!

    NewsNow.com, all you need to do to prevent links from being blocked is use javascript to remove the referrer data being sent to newscorp. It is as simple as changing your links to use Javascript instead of direct links. If News Corp blocks that, then no one will have access to their site.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    in3rtia, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 12:50pm

    Re: True

    I don't understand why this is such a widespread belief. The bailouts were done under Bush, not Obama.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Shhhhh. they hoping that we'll all forget that little fact in time for November...

     

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  20.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: True

    "I don't understand why this is such a widespread belief. The bailouts were done under Bush, not Obama."

    No, they were done under both, for different industries, and measures could have been taken to either repeal or limit Bush's bailouts.

    They're both nothing more than evil mouthpieces for other, more powerful interests.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Sheesh - not again, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: True

    yeah, what ever ...
    there would be no need for the bailouts if bush inc had been doing their jobs

     

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  22.  
    icon
    slander (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 12:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: True

    You fail at History--go stand in the corner.

     

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  23.  
    icon
    slander (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 12:38am

    Re: Me too!

    2.5. ???

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    JR, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    Rupert Murdoch Loves To Steal Content and Ideas

    I delivered News Corp my invoice in the form of a $40 million dollar lawsuit.

     

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  25.  
    icon
    Tek'a R (profile), Jan 23rd, 2010 @ 10:39pm

    Re: LOAN OFFER FOR REAL PEOPLE

    Yes, well, that's an interesting point.. for insane people.
    Is this a spambot post to advertise that anuge fellow or god?

    Hey mike, how can we report spam?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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