Google Explains Why Making Special Copyright Laws For Newspapers Is A Mistake

from the won't-help;-will-probably-hurt dept

We've written a few times about how ridiculous the FTC's proposals to "save journalism" are. They're much more focused on saving newspapers, not journalism. And they seem to totally misunderstand the problem -- or to believe the problem is some amorphous threat from "internet aggregators," which is based on no actual evidence. Google has now responded to the FTC's proposal, and, as Jeff Jarvis notes, effectively "taken the FTC to school" on the basics of journalism economics and copyright.
My favorite segment may be:
The large profit margins newspapers enjoyed in the past were built on an artificial scarcity: Limited choice for advertisers as well as readers. With the Internet, that scarcity has been taken away and replaced by abundance. No policy proposal will be able to restore newspaper revenues to what they were before the emergence of online news. It is not a question of analog dollars versus digital dimes, but rather a realistic assessment of how to make money in a world of abundant competitors and consumer choice.
There's also a nice dig for those who believe that paywalls are the solution (even though Google is more than willing to help publishers hang themselves with that noose). First, it notes that subscription revenue today represents only 3% of newspaper revenue, and then points out that perhaps paywalls could "raise the 3% revenue figure," though it clearly seems to be emphasizing that we're talking about a really minor revenue stream here.

Hopefully the FTC pays attention, but you could see them just dismissing Google as a "biased" party. The newspapers pushing these sorts of solutions are barking up the wrong tree, and hopefully the FTC realizes this, rather than providing a big crutch for the news organizations unwilling to adapt to a changing market.


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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 4:00pm

    Why help people or entities who can't make money?

    Court those who can.

     

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    sehlat (profile), Jul 21st, 2010 @ 4:28pm

    Actually, letting the newspapers "win" might be a good idea.

    Then they can hang themselves with the rope they themselves braided. They'll have no grounds for complaint when that happens, and nobody else to blame.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 4:49pm

      Re: Actually, letting the newspapers "win" might be a good idea.

      The problem is, those laws will remain even when all the dinosaurs go extinct. It's much harder to repeal existing laws than it is to put them into place.

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jul 21st, 2010 @ 4:51pm

      Re: Actually, letting the newspapers "win" might be a good idea.

      If they get the 5-7 dollars per internet account, that they are proposing it will be a long slow death. Think EU and Australian music collection societies ever expanding intrusiveness. Think Canada, Swedens, etc CD levies. Other than any forced payment-tax-extortion it think you are correct they should be given everything they want.

       

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    NAMELESS ONE, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 4:40pm

    and i agree help them hang themselves

    the quicker the dinosaurs fail the better.
    don't help or teach them let them die off.

     

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    CJ (profile), Jul 21st, 2010 @ 4:43pm

    ouch!

    That's no good sehlat. They create so many rules, that not even the regular blogs, and upcoming news websites can move without being slapped with a lawsuit. It will be the RIAA all over again.

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jul 21st, 2010 @ 4:59pm

    What does the state want?

    The question is: what does the state want?

    Would they preserve the centralised control of the newspaper corporations they know and love, or unleash umpteen zillion uncontrolled loudmouths?

    If they can fix it so the indies starve in the gutter unless they go cap in hand to the news corps., then they will happily fix it so the latter remain paymasters.

    The problem is, getting away with it.

    They managed to steal a trillion from the taxpayer only recently to give to the corrupt bankers, so they aren't exactly amateurs at this sort of thing.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 7:33pm

    Some quibbles with Google.

    "The large profit margins newspapers enjoyed in the past were built on an artificial scarcity: Limited choice for advertisers as well as readers."

    Not exactly true; the scarcity of newspapers, or news outlets, was real even after the advent of television. There's only so much news happens in a day, and it's getting spread mighty thin of late.

    "With the Internet, that scarcity has been taken away and replaced by abundance."

    Well... An abundance of crap, mostly, and shallowness everywhere. Without defending what newspapers have become -- the New York Times and Judy Miller, for example, printing lies direct from the White House -- still, a thousand links to one original report, often abbreviated and cryptic, for deriving income off that original work from a page view attracted by an outrageous headline, HMM, that ain't a "model" that I want in place, neither. It necessarily cheapens the *news* that's vital to an informed populace.

    "No policy proposal will be able to restore newspaper revenues to what they were before the emergence of online news."

    Simply not true. A new tax *could* be sweeping enough to restore. -- I don't advocate it, mind, I just say it's a self-serving arguing point.

    "It is not a question of analog dollars versus digital dimes, but rather a realistic assessment of how to make money in a world of abundant competitors and consumer choice."

    Er, metaphor aside, here's the rub: Google is an interested party with goal of sweeping *all* of the news biz plus *all* advertising into its maw, and positions itself to dole out by the links that come up *who's* going to effectively compete, and thereby *what* consumers will see. I'll assume, optimistically, that no one cares to have Google become *the* middle-man for all of society.

     

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      jon, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 8:15pm

      Re: Some quibbles with Google.

      Nice one dude, fantastic that at least some people can see through all the expensive corporate lobby BS...

      Anyone lobbying for the demise of intellectual property laws has no concept of what property laws have done for the worlds leading economies over the last 500 years - all you have to do is look at the countries where property laws aren't protected by law or enforced effectively...

      Go the third world... they get heaps of free shit there, only problem is, it ain't worth anything because it ain't worth anything...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 8:55pm

        Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

        You are confusing intellectual "property" with physical property. The U.S. at one time was very skeptical of IP laws and it did perfectly well. Other nations that were also skeptical of such laws, or didn't even have them, also did well. For example, see

        http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/against.htm

        and even the founding fathers have acknowledged some of the problems IP laws have caused and the success of nations without them. The difference with the nations you mention is that they often have oppressive institutions that take away our freedoms. It is the actions of their institutions that cause their problems. IP itself is implemented by an institution whereas its lack is not.

        The fact is that art and music will be made perfectly fine without copy protection laws. The problem is that the federal (and local) govt(s) keeps getting in the way of its creation. For instance, native Americans used to make their own songs and dances and whatnot. It's perfectly natural. What did the federal government do? To quote from a book I'm reading entitled California Vieja by Phoebe S. Kropp (good book btw)

        "the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) waged an extended campaign to discourage the Cupenos from performing old dances, games, rituals ... [they] feared that traditions would slow Indians' assimilation into white society ... by the early 1910s, the Pala agent reported ... that the Indians there performed dances only "for the purpose of attracting the attendance of white visitors" ... By 1918 the agent ... predicted ... the dances will disappear ..."

        (P 98)

        So basically these dances were only allowed for the purpose of attracting tourists because tourists helped generate revenue. and this wasn't even that long ago, only as late as 1918. People naturally creating music and dancing and traditions and culture and art without copyright and such is a perfectly healthy and natural thing for humans to do. For the government to come in and then decide that these cultural norms should be commoditized and that culture should be controlled by a handful of monopolists so that they can make money (ie: record labels and music CD's under copyright) is unacceptable. Instead, the govt should just mind its own business and focus on more important things instead of wasting tax dollars on making everyone's lives more miserable.

         

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          jon, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 10:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

          Definitely not confusing them.

          The only reason physical property is valuable is because there are laws protecting its value.

          (if you don't believe that, imagine what your car would be worth if there was nothing stopping anyone just taking it).

          Intellectual property is no different.

           

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            Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 1:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

            Intellectual property is also physical. An intellectual work cannot be property unless it is fixed in a physical medium. So, whether physical property is material or intellectual doesn't affect whether it is property.

            I can make a basket whose design represents an intellectual work, or a CD containing the intellectual work of a poem, and sell or lend either to you. If lent, you must give me back the basket and CD (without erasing the poem). However, I cannot naturally prevent you copying either basket or CD, whether I've sold or lent either to you. The only thing that does this is the 18th century grant of a reproduction monopoly to the press. That is the abominable anachronism that has to go in this information age. So, it's nothing to do with getting rid of intellectual property - just monopoly.

             

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            vivaelamor (profile), Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 4:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

            "The only reason physical property is valuable is because there are laws protecting its value.

            (if you don't believe that, imagine what your car would be worth if there was nothing stopping anyone just taking it).

            Intellectual property is no different."


            You seem to have a strange notion of value. If people are trying to take your property then there is likely to be value in it (or they just hate you). You seem to be confusing value with peoples ability to take stuff, which is a key difference between physical and 'intellectual' property. The reason why physical property needs a law is because of the ability to deprive people of property, not to preserve its value. In contrast, intellectual property does not have the same problem with people taking stuff, because it is hard to deprive someone of an idea.

            The value of an idea is actually better protected from people taking it than with a physical item. Copyright seeks to supplement the actual value of an idea with an artificial scarcity, not to protect its value or even to protect anyone from being deprived of their idea.

             

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            harbingerofdoom (profile), Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 9:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

            really? cause so far my experience in the declining value of my car seems to not fit with your argument that laws create value...

            my car is protected in the method of which you speak, but its also not worth the same as the day i bought it, so seems to me that your statement is not 100% accurate and failes to take into account several factors that influence the value of property).

            if you want to base your arguments about IP in such a way, better make sure the example you are holding up isnt full of holes.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 8:22pm

      Re: Some quibbles with Google.

      "Not exactly true; the scarcity of newspapers, or news outlets, was real even after the advent of television."

      Yes, exactly true. Remember, government granted cableco monopolies? The same monopolies that prevent newcomers from entering the market? These scarcities are artificial. Not to mention monopolies and limitations on broadcasting spectra that prevents newcomers from entering the market.

      "There's only so much news happens in a day, and it's getting spread mighty thin of late."

      It depends on what you define as news. One mans news is another mans spam. There is plenty of news out there from all sorts of sources.

      For instance, I used to go to visit the natural solutions foundation and they themselves would attend codex meetings, funded entirely by donations, to gives everyone the news on the latest discussions (and the net is full of these sorts of examples of people who attend meetings and discuss their findings on the net).

      and many of these discussions involve court cases and laws written either by congress or by federal agencies, all of which are rightfully public domain.

      The prior art attends various panels and announces its findings on its website. For example, see

      http://thepriorart.typepad.com/the_prior_art/2010/05/patent-enforcement-companies-speak-at-sf -conference.html

      and even if news was as limited as you make it out to be, which its not, that's no excuse to set up a system where only a few entities have the ability to distribute news that either it or others investigated.

      "Well... An abundance of crap, mostly, and shallowness everywhere."

      One of the reasons I don't read newspapers or watch the mainstream media television anymore is because they are very shallow and limit what they discuss, much of which is non-important. They never mention the important topics that we discuss here on Techdrit and on other blogs, like how the RIAA/MPAA are scamming the public and how big corrupt corporations are scamming everyone with their monopolies. Do 95 year copy protection lengths ever make it on television? No. Is it important for this atrocity to make it on the news and be resisted? To me, and many others, it is. Do the problems with patents ever make it on MSM. NO. But it's important. You may not like people to know about all the problems that our broken legal system causes, probably because you unfairly benefit from those problems, but they're important. Does the MSM ever discuss the Taxi Cab monopolies? No. Do they ever mention how broadband in the U.S. is falling behind the rest of the world due to an artificial lack of competition? No. They're too shallow, only talking about the greatest generalities and agreeing with free market capitalism while, at the same time, benefiting from government enforced free market distortions in their favor at the expense of everyone else.

      and the news discussed on techdirt seems at least important enough for you to attend techdirt and comment on, so why are you complaining? If you don't like the news, instead of complaining about it, why not help fund newspapers. For instance you can subscribe to them.

      "Er, metaphor aside, here's the rub: Google is an interested party with goal of sweeping *all* of the news biz plus *all* advertising into its maw, and positions itself to dole out by the links that come up *who's* going to effectively compete, and thereby *what* consumers will see. I'll assume, optimistically, that no one cares to have Google become *the* middle-man for all of society."

      Why single out Google, why not Yahoo or Microsoft? If you don't like Google then either don't use their search engine or start your own better competing search engine. Yes, Google stands to make money, no, there is nothing wrong with that. If a news organization doesn't like it it can simply opt out, Google has no problems with this. They choose not to, that's their choice.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 8:24pm

        Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

        (the codex meetings weren't funded by donations obviously, the cost of the natural solutions foundation attending, like airplane tickets and whatnot, were funded by donations.)

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 8:27pm

        Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

        don't watch mainstream media news much * (I do watch from time to time).

         

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        jon, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 8:38pm

        Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

        So, it's ok for Google to make money, but not for songwriters or illustrators or scientists or coders, or photographers or writers or painters or well, anyone who creates stuff...?

        You seem to be saying;

        'Yes, Google wants to steal everyones property, if you don't like it, get out of the way... '

        I don't see how that helps an economy grow.

        If everyone can freely flip around everyone elses property endlessly, without an exchange of value, pretty soon there will be no new creative works because there's no incentive to create, and the economy will just gasp outta puff...

        Sounds lame...

         

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          Modplan (profile), Jul 21st, 2010 @ 8:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

          Who owns facts?

           

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            jon, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 9:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

            Thats genius, everything that is a 'fact' should be free...

            Everyone's a winner!

            Yay.

             

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              TtfnJohn (profile), Jul 21st, 2010 @ 10:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

              Facts can't be copyrighted and so, in your mind, they're already free.

              Give it up already.

               

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                jon, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 10:47pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

                Not sure what your saying... All of New York is a fact.

                Therefore it should be free?

                I want one.

                Or do you just mean that if you can think about something in your mind, you shouldn't have to pay for it?

                TtfnJohn for Prez! We'll all be RICH, RICH I tell you!

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 11:04pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

                  All of new York is a fact? What the heck does that mean? TAM, I think you've been drinking just a tad bit too much tonight.

                   

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 9:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

          "So, it's ok for Google to make money, but not for songwriters or illustrators or scientists or coders, or photographers or writers or painters or well, anyone who creates stuff...?"

          Nobody said that. They can make Ad revenue for instance. and again, why focus on Google and not Yahoo and Microsoft.

          "'Yes, Google wants to steal everyones property, if you don't like it, get out of the way... '"

          Calling it stealing is a lie. You seem to be saying it's OK to lie just to make a point.

          and those who have their work on Google are free to opt out if they don't like the traffic. Google won't bother them. But passing laws to force Google to index you and then force them to pay you is extortion. You seem to be saying that extortion is OK. It's not.

          "If everyone can freely flip around everyone elses property endlessly, without an exchange of value, pretty soon there will be no new creative works because there's no incentive to create, and the economy will just gasp outta puff..."

          You make bare assertions and provide zero evidence. There is more content now than ever. So many songs are released under a CC license on the Internet for instance. The only thing preventing free content from being made outside the Internet is the media monopoly that the government secures.

          Heck, you yourself are creating free content with your posts.

           

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            jon, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 10:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

            Not really focusing on Google, anyone who wants stuff for free is lame as far as I'm concerned.

            What evidence do you need that people do stuff for money?

            The western worlds economy has exploded since property laws started to be enforced, the same thing will happen when intellectual property laws are standardized and enforced...

            How many songs are created under a CC license?

            How successful are they? and how much wealth do they generate?

            Whats the ratio of wealth generated by CC music vs. copyrighted music?

            You asked me for evidence, where's yours?

            Stuff that costs nothing isn't worth anything.

            Stuff whose value isn't protected by law isn't worth anything.

            If everything is for free how does the economy work?

            Where do the advertisers come from?

            More isn't better, better is better; better costs more.

            Someone has to pay for better - better be the person who wants it, since it has more value to them, screw the person who doesn't value it, they don't really want it anyway.

            Money is quite a good way to measure somethings value, you should try it.

            A search engine might be able to make money by placing ads everywhere, that suits them, but it doesn't mean they should be able to force a cataclysmic change on the rest of the world economies.

            The USSR tried making everything free and 'fair' remember what happened?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 10:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

              "Not really focusing on Google"

              Then why did you mention them specifically?

              "anyone who wants stuff for free is lame as far as I'm concerned."

              Those who want free monopolies are lame. Heck, those who want monopolies are lame. No one is owed a monopoly. People should have to earn their living instead of stealing it from monopoly rents.

              So if someone wants to release content under a CC license any consumer of that content is lame? Despite the fact that the content creator wants people to freely use this content?

              and the air you breath is free, you consume techdirt for free, so you're lame as far as you're concerned.

              "What evidence do you need that people do stuff for money? "

              Who said otherwise?

              "The western worlds economy has exploded since property laws started to be enforced, the same thing will happen when intellectual property laws are standardized and enforced..."

              Evidence?

              "How many songs are created under a CC license? "


              Why don't you count them. You can start here.

              http://creativecommons.org/

              Come back when you're done. Then I'll give you more sites to start counting.

              "How successful are they? and how much wealth do they generate? "

              How do you define success? If you define it as wealth, why should monetary wealth be the defining factor of success?

              The argument is that "pretty soon there will be no new creative works because there's no incentive to create" but clearly this argument is false. People are creating now more than ever, so clearly there is incentive be it monetary or otherwise. Perhaps people create as an end in and of itself. and as Tecdhirt has noted a lot of people have found ways to make money from things like concerts and otherwise. The point is that copy protection laws aren't needed for people to create.

              "Whats the ratio of wealth generated by CC music vs. copyrighted music? "

              The fact that monopolists can make more money than non monopolists is meaningless. Economic efficiency isn't about optimizing the monetary wealth of monopolists, it's about optimizing aggregate output.

              Also, you ignore the fact that those who monopolize things like broadcasting spectra and cableco infrastructure and those who sue restaurants that want to play independent music under the pretext that they might infringe make it difficult for newcomers to enter the market. The existing communication monopolies in place, thanks to our broken laws, give an unfair advantage to independent artists that want to either control their content or release it under a CC license. The status quo favors work controlled by a hand full of people. When is the last time you heard a CC licensed music on the radio? Yet chances are many of those creators would love the have their music on the radio and would make tons of money through things like concerts, perhaps autographed CD's and things like T - Shirts and other things if they could get on the radio. But they can't, because they have to go through a monopolist gatekeeper thanks to our broken government. Not only does our broken system grant a monopoly on information distribution channels, it grants a monopoly on content. This monopoly on both on content and distribution is what makes it more difficult for independents to succeed in the market. It will take time for content like CC licensed music to gain the same level of recognition than content controlled by those who hold monopoly power outside the Internet can gain and this problem with our monopoly happy legal system needs to be corrected.

              "You asked me for evidence, where's yours?"

              I provided evidence, look at the content made under CC licenses. Besides, you're the one making the positive claim that monopolies should exist under the pretext that content won't be made without such monopolies, the burden is on you to support your claim, not on me to prove a negative. No one owes you a monopoly so if you want one you better justify it, it's not for me to justify its absence.

              "Stuff that costs nothing isn't worth anything."

              The air you breath costs you nothing.

              "If everything is for free how does the economy work?"

              The purpose of an economy is to provide goods and services, to facilitate aggregate output. If everything is for free then who cares, the purpose of the economy has been served.

              "Where do the advertisers come from? "

              Maybe from people that want to sell stuff.

              "More isn't better, better is better; better costs more. "

              If more isn't better and better costs more aren't you arguing that more is better.

              "Someone has to pay for better - better be the person who wants it, since it has more value to them, screw the person who doesn't value it, they don't really want it anyway."

              You are confusing cost and value. You value the air you breath but you don't pay for it. and if better can be produced for free then why not? Isn't that the whole purpose of free market capitalism, to bring the best products for the cheapest.

              "Money is quite a good way to measure somethings value, you should try it."

              The air you breath is free so I guess that means you don't value it.

              "A search engine might be able to make money by placing ads everywhere, that suits them, but it doesn't mean they should be able to force a cataclysmic change on the rest of the world economies."

              and if the change is for the positive then why not?

              "The USSR tried making everything free and 'fair' remember what happened?"

              The USSR tried to do so by imposing an institution to do it, the lack of IP requires no institution.

               

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 21st, 2010 @ 11:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

              Not really focusing on Google, anyone who wants stuff for free is lame as far as I'm concerned.


              Fair enough. You got this site for free, but I don't want you to be lame. Where can I send the invoice for $5,000?

              Also, can you show me a copy of the bill you paid for the air you breathe? I got mine for free, but I don't want to be lame, either, so I want to pay. I'm just curious how much it is where you live.

              Point is: wanting stuff for free is not lame. And pricing things at free -- if the economics makes sense -- is not lame either.

              What evidence do you need that people do stuff for money?


              People do stuff for lots of reasons. In fact, as some recent research has shown, money is often not a very good motivator for people: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100603/0311539672.shtml

              But, either way, no one is saying that everyone should do *everything* for free. In fact, we're arguing the opposite: that you can often make MORE money by recognizing which parts make more sense as free.

              The western worlds economy has exploded since property laws started to be enforced, the same thing will happen when intellectual property laws are standardized and enforced...

              Correlation =/= causation, of course. And, actually, if you look closely at the research you see the opposite. As IP laws are strengthened in terms of enforcement, creative output goes down. As they're weakened it goes up. Evidence is a bitch.

              How many songs are created under a CC license?


              What's that got to do with anything?

              How successful are they? and how much wealth do they generate?


              Depends on who you're talking about. Trent Reznor made $750k in one day from Creative Commons songs.

              He did so with a smart business model. You should try one.

              Stuff that costs nothing isn't worth anything.


              Again, I'd like to see your air bill. Do not confuse price and value. It'll make you look foolish.

              If everything is for free how does the economy work?


              No one ever said everything is free. Nice strawman. Thanks for playing.

              Where do the advertisers come from?


              Um... companies with stuff to advertise?

              More isn't better, better is better; better costs more.


              And... we should believe it because some guy without a name said so on the internet... for free? Ok.

              Someone has to pay for better - better be the person who wants it, since it has more value to them, screw the person who doesn't value it, they don't really want it anyway.

              Yeah, screw them. Even if you could put in place a smarter business model and earn more money by embracing them. But screw them!

              Money is quite a good way to measure somethings value, you should try it.


              Again. The air bill?

              Price and value are two separate things. It'll help you sound at least moderately competent to discuss these things if you learned the difference. Hint: price is the intersection of supply and demand. Value explains the shape of the demand curve.

              Hey, guess what, I just provided you with an econ 101 lesson for free.

              A search engine might be able to make money by placing ads everywhere, that suits them, but it doesn't mean they should be able to force a cataclysmic change on the rest of the world economies.

              Don't blame those smart enough to take advantage of economic forces for those economic forces.

              You know, Ford was able to make money by selling cars. It doesn't mean they should be able to force cataclysmic change on the rest of the world's transportation infrastructure.

              The USSR tried making everything free and 'fair' remember what happened?


              You'd have a point if anyone on this site was talking about that. No one is. We're talking about the opposite: letting the market actually set the price, rather than a gov't subsidy.

               

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                Richard (profile), Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 10:04am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

                What evidence do you need that people do stuff for money?


                People do stuff for lots of reasons.


                Beautifully illustrated on the BBC news this evening. A metal detectorist has just learned that the hoard of Roman coins he found is officially "treasure" and therefore he will get a 50% share of the value - a windfall of half a million pounds. A reporter asked him "how will the money change your life?" He said "I don't know really - I might buy a new wok" (he is a chef) - he went on "but the important thing is that I am the finder of the largest hoard of Roman coins ever discovered in Britain".

                So much for money as a motivator then....

                 

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              Richard (profile), Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 2:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Some quibbles with Google.

              What evidence do you need that people do stuff for money?

              The western worlds economy has exploded since property laws started to be enforced, the same thing will happen when intellectual property laws are standardized and enforced...


              Physical property laws have been enforced for thousands of years. They are typically the second thing that gets done when people start to organise themselves into states (the first being external defence).

              The "explosion" of the economy is the result of technical advance that comes from human curiosity. That curiosity can only flourish if people have enough money not to have to worry about money.

              Money is not a great motivator. If it was then Wayne Rooney - who has grown up in a world where footballers (soccer players for our US brethren) are paid ten or even hundreds of thousands per week should be a vastly better player than Bobby Charlton who grew up at a time when there was a wage cap of £20/week (then a typical UK manual labour wage). Ask any England fan now who they prefer and you'll get your answer.

               

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    Ron, Jul 21st, 2010 @ 7:42pm

    we are seing this with Print media VS Multi media. We saw this with the postal service vs email. We saw this with music distrution in the CD makers vs digital downloads. The users of outdated technologies and peridigms won't change until they are forced to. Whether the government makes the right decision or the wrong one, old outdated ways of doing thigs are all doomed.

     

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      freddy, Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 12:33pm

      Re:

      Dream on. Reporters don't work for free. Nor do record producers or movie makers. And I would rather pay them than be stuck with 5 minute amateur YouTube videos of someone's cat on top of a Roomba. Oh sure, I like and respect the amateurs but sometimes I just want a big Hollywood film and that's just not going to happen without copyright.

       

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        TDR, Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 8:04pm

        Re: Re:

        To quote Buzz Lightyear:

        "You are a sad, strange little man."

        Way to totally misunderstand/misrepresent the point. And just so you know, quite a bit of music and movies online that are done outside the label/studio system are light years better in quality than the drivel Hollyweird puts out these days. "Pioneer One" is a recent notable example. Haven't seen it myself but I've heard nothing but good about it. Amazing what you can do when you're not constrained by label/studio restrictions, myopia and technophobia.

         

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    bob, Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 7:18am

    3%? Oh, it's much more than that

    The NYT just reported that it gets about 40-45% from "circulation revenue".

    http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=105317&p=irol-pressArticle&ID=1450695&hi ghlight=

     

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    Josh, Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    No one ever considers that magazines have found that there sales increase by allowing people to flip through the pages first. Otherwise every Mag would come with a sealed sticker or in a bag.

     

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