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….

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Companies: news corp, newsnow

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Comments on “Will Rupert Murdoch Pay Me For Making Money Off Links To Techdirt?”

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TW2000 says:


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)


Dark Helmet (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Paul (profile) says:

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).

McBeese says:


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.

Bobano Boberina says:


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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