European Publishers Latest To Call For Special Copyright Expansion Over News

from the if-this-is-your-business-model... dept

In the last few weeks, there's suddenly been a big push by folks in the newspaper business to start talking about how copyright law should be expanded to help protect their business. The latest to do this, apparently, is a group of European publishers, including some big names, asking for copyright law to be changed in some way to benefit newspapers. They didn't make specific proposals, but they're likely thinking about the various ideas that have been floating around about stopping aggregators or providing some sort of copyright or copyright-like protection on breaking news.

This whole idea isn't just ridiculous, but it won't help newspapers. It would almost certainly harm them, however.
  • First of all, if the only thing protecting your business from failure is government protectionism... you're not doing a very good job at building a real business. And, you won't be able to hold back real competitors from eating your lunch (or, at least, the parts of it they haven't eaten already).
  • Next, stronger copyright won't bring more people to your site or get more people to give you money.
  • Stronger copyright protection will only harm your online distribution efforts, in making it that much more difficult for others to send you traffic or to participate in the discussion.
  • Relying on these things, and thinking that stronger copyright somehow is a business model will just mean that you've opened the playing field wide to those who actually embrace the collaborative, sharing nature of the internet.
So while it would be damaging for those pushing for it, it would still create quite a mess in the meantime. Hopefully European politicians see through this blatant attempt at protectionism and don't let it get anywhere.

Reader Comments

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  • icon
    DJ (profile), 10 Jul 2009 @ 3:11pm


    You're argument, however, is in stark contrast to the current American business model of government buy-out-ism.

    Isn't a country's government supposed to own and control EVERYTHING???

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

  • identicon
    Clevername, 10 Jul 2009 @ 5:53pm

    I may be wrong ...

    but I thought the news media reported factual information.

    Further more, I thought that you could not copyright, patent, or trademark facts.

    Ya ya ... the case about breaking news - blah blah - that was a bad decision and should not be used as precedence.

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

  • identicon
    imergentfinancialservices, 11 Jul 2009 @ 11:40pm

    good write-up. I totally agree with DJ that the country's government control every thing. so in the current market business model government buy it out.Anyway Thanks for sharing this post with us.

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

  • identicon
    ACAP, 14 Jul 2009 @ 11:30am

    European Publishers and IPR

    To set the record straight, publishers generally and ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol) specifically are not asking anyone for a change in European law. Rather, ACAP is, in a transparent and open way, creating tools so that copyright and licences can work in a machine-to-machine way without needing a human somewhere in the middle. This reflects the reality of the internet where so much depends on computers being able to operate autonomously on a massive scale, for example when search engines create their indexes. What ACAP is asking of regulators is for recognition that ACAP is just as valid a way of writing a licence as a contract on paper written by a lawyer, and so is one of the solutions to the digital rights conundrum. We want them to encourage search engines and other aggregators to use this tool to demonstrate commitment to their oft-stated acknowledgement that content belongs to the content providers and it is for them, the rightsholders, to decide how and on what terms third parties should use it. Members of the ACAP community also want to use it to facilitate other machine-to-machine functions unrelated to search, such as permissioning use of content by other third parties. ACAP is not just about money, but about making content widely available in the existing copyright framework which has driven the immense growth in the creation and availability of content for hundreds of years. Copyright is the cornerstone of innovation and progress in publishing as well the other creative industries. ACAP is one step towards making it continue to work in the 21st century."

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

  • identicon
    marsman, 16 Jul 2009 @ 5:25am

    I would suggest to google with "ad rates up circulation down".
    Google selected articles start with one 2004, a really
    nice example of that pricing strategy. And at the same
    time it is also the logical explanation why one paper
    mentioned went bust. This strategy is not only the case for
    the US. It is something the media never talk about.

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

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