Do We Really Want An ASCAP For News?
from the yikes dept
There are so many problems with this suggestion it's difficult to know where to start. The biggest of all, however, is that the "problem" this is seeking to solve hasn't been shown to have been a problem at all. Newspapers and the AP keep claiming that there's an "aggregator problem," but we went looking for it and we can't find it. The problem is that the AP and others change the definition of who's a problem depending on what they're talking about. Sometimes its sites like Google. But Google isn't really a problem because Google shows headlines and barely a snippet. That's clearly fair use and drives traffic (hell, the entire SEO industry depends on that). So, it's not Google that's the problem. At the other end of the spectrum you have scraper spam sites, but those are fly-by-night, get no traffic and aren't "taking" any real ad revenue away from the original content creators at all. Also, they're certainly not going to pay into any ASCAP-like scheme. Who's left? In the middle you have a few smaller players, like Newser, who basically rewrite some stories, but they're tiny.
So what problem is this bureaucratic mess trying to actually solve? I can't figure it out, but putting together a giant bureaucracy will require a ton of overhead, and all that money is pure waste from an economic standpoint. So, before we start talking about an ASCAP for news, can someone please define what the actual problem is? Because it's certainly not this general "aggregator" menace that we keep hearing about.