Confused Irish Newspaper Editorial Argues That Search Engines Need To Pay Newspapers
from the time-to-drop-the-irish-examiner dept
The scale of the piracy is astounding. In 2010, while every media company in the country shed jobs and cut costs to the bone, a single search engine operating in Ireland offered around 150,000 newspaper articles that cost publishers an estimated €46.5m to generate. Last year that site offered more than 350,000 articles at a cost equivalent to more than €110m. And all without paying one cent to those who created those articles.First of all, they seem to be claiming that search engines that index content, show a snippet and link people to the original content are "piracy." That's crazy talk. Furthermore, while they don't name the "search engine" they claim that it "offered" these articles. Of course, if it really posted all the articles itself, then there is no need to change copyright laws -- the company could already sue them for infringement. However, assuming that they're really talking about Google or just about any other search engine, what they really mean is that the search engines aggregated the content and linked people back to the original. The "cost" to produce those articles is irrelevant to the overall discussion. Yes, it costs money, but it's the job of a business model to bring in even more money. If the business geniuses who run your paper are too clueless to figure out how to monetize the traffic from Google, then perhaps you deserve to go out of business.
This free-for-all has put Ireland’s 8,600 creative enterprises, the 116,000 jobs involved — some 7.5% of GDP and 6.5% of total employment — under a darkening cloud. Multinational corporations, ironically styling themselves champions of free information having stolen it themselves, pretend that they see nothing wrong with hijacking the work of others. They do this to create entities that exist primarily, in a news context, to deliver rather than generate content. To rub salt into the wound these entities are determined to secure advertising revenue on the back of that snatched news content. This is the very revenue that made the gathering of the news possible in the first place.
In the end, as we've seen elsewhere, this isn't about "piracy" at all. This is about newspapers who don't know how to adapt, and are staffed by completely technologically illiterate folks, who simply see that Google is making money while they're struggling and assume (totally incorrectly) that Google needs to pay them for sending them traffic.