Japanese Newspaper Says: How Dare You Send Us Traffic!

from the don't-tell-your-friends! dept

While others, like News Corp's Rupert Murdoch, continue to make a lot of noise about cutting off or punishing news aggregators like Google News, Japan's Nikkei newspaper has decided to take some action in the war against the "freeloaders" by forbidding any links to its content without explicit permission. Apparently, Nikkei believes not only that "unauthorized" links would somehow circumvent its paywall, but also that it is such an incredibly important source that free referrals are neither necessary nor welcome. Although most of Nikkei's Japanese competition apparently also locks up content behind paywalls, going beyond a paywall to actively block inbound links seems very short-sighted, in that it will serve to drive traffic and attention elsewhere. It's still pretty amazing how certain organizations don't seem to have any understanding of how the internet works.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 1:55am

    What they don't understand is that when people click on a link that doesn't work, they just go elsewhere.

     

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  2.  
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    Kirion, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 2:50am

    Japan is so different

    Frankly, newspaper industry in Japan amazes me. While Japan seems like country from future, newspapers live in past. They still have huge print circulation (millions of subscribers), at least one daily newspaper in every household. I guess it has something to do with demography and society.

     

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  3.  
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    CMK (profile), Apr 13th, 2010 @ 2:50am

    For once I agree

    This is absolutely true. This is not to say that I would ever be interested in a Japanese newspaper, however.

     

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  4.  
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    inc, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 3:13am

    This is amazing especially since so many companies pay money to have their links made popular through SEO. Why don't they just get rid of their domain name and flip through IPs. That would make all their links invalid and only their member with the right IP would have access. Hell, why even be online at all?

    These artards need to get off me internetz!!

     

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  5.  
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    Evostick, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 3:52am

    Looks a lot like the Financial Times model to me. Restricting access increases exclusivity of the brand.
    You pay for access to historical company articles and data as well as current articles.

    Are you suggesting they should put their whole database on line for free access?

     

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  6.  
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    Blatant Coward (profile), Apr 13th, 2010 @ 4:00am

    "Restricting access increases exclusivity of the brand. "

    With that logic they have nothing to worry about google then, I mean there it is laying out there on the internet all brazen and open.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 4:36am

    Re:

    There was a Murdock interview that got played on This Week in Google http://twit.tv/twig37. Murdock seemed most upset that Google was able to sell adds around his content in searches but he wasn't particularly articulate about so it is tough to be sure.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 4:53am

    Re:

    The world in your eyes is all or nothing, black or white ... no in between and no gray. How sad for you.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 5:25am

    Re:

    "Restricting access increases exclusivity of the brand." I think you mean perception of exclusivity. That's what you pay for; the feeling of being privvy to exclusive material. Of course, in reality, anybody can drop $x and get in on the action.

     

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  10.  
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    Jon B., Apr 13th, 2010 @ 7:02am

    Re:

    There's nothing wrong with that logic. It's tautological.

    It may as well say "Making access more exclusive increases its exclusivity..."

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 7:22am

    but what if everyone else in the market is doing the same? if everything is behind paywalls, what is the loss? where do they go? nowhere.

     

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  12.  
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    opit (profile), Apr 13th, 2010 @ 7:23am

    Restricting Access

    If they want to increase exclusivity...it will work.
    Think about it. I was so pissed that AP would reissue stuff that was already out there and try to charge for advertising their content that I went the other way : even though Google will place articles next to the sign - AP the UnEssential Network. Nor will I carry their content.
    Not that I consider much of it different from propaganda.
    They have a bad case of 'Unclear on the Concept' too.

     

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  13.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Apr 13th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Re:

    How likely do you think it is, on the scale that is the Internet, that everyone in the market follows this example?
    If this newspaper's competition suddenly see a spike in their adviews, do you really think it's likely that they want to cut those people off?

    Sure, there is no shortage of short-sighted CEOs running a lot of businesses (into the ground), but not every newspaper in the world is run by an artard.

     

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  14.  
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    Evostick, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 8:52am

    This business isn't about advertising. It's about paying for access to a database.

    Not to say that they may get more money by opening up and attaching adverts to search results (a la Google).

     

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  15.  
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    Michael C (profile), Apr 13th, 2010 @ 9:16am

    Re:

    Nope, not suggesting anything of the sort. Just saying that if you're on the internet, what's the harm in allowing people to link to your site. That's how people discover things online, no? You could make a case for a paywall, when all of your competition has them, too. But does it really make sense to put yourself online but say, "Don't look at me!" They're not just blocking links that have found some way around the paywall. They expect people to get approval for *any* link to their site. That's like a store with a window display forbidding everyone who walks by from telling their friends to go and take a look, without first getting the store's permission. They're simply saying, "No word-of-mouth advertising." It makes no sense.

     

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  16.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Apr 13th, 2010 @ 11:26am

    Re:

    The money you paid for a newspaper was never for the news, but to offset the printing costs. The news was being paid for by ads. That's the case for the paper newspaper, and also for the online newspaper. If these 'newspapers' can't accept that, then they have no place in the market, whatsoever. And deserve to die off.

    Sure, if you put your older news (like say, after it's been freely accessible for 2 weeks) behind a paywall, I might be able to understand it.
    But this is about them limiting you how many times you can access their website for free. After 5 visits each month: "I'm sorry sir, but you are forbidden to access this site, unless you pay us." That kind of trick will rarely if at all work on Joe Schmoe.

     

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  17.  
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    dorp, Apr 14th, 2010 @ 4:13pm

    Re:

    This business isn't about advertising. It's about paying for access to a database.

    Not to say that they may get more money by opening up and attaching adverts to search results (a la Google).


    You either did not read the article or... did not read the article. The question is not about paywall. The question is about links to the site, which the company does not want to exist. If you have a paywall setup, you want as many links as possible just like anyone else on the internet, because more people getting to your main page = more chances of getting someone to pay directly or indirectly.

     

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

  18.  
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    Bertfw, Aug 16th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    Re: Japan is so different

    Japan hasn't seemed like a "country from the future" since the 1980s.

     

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


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