from the good-for-them dept
The Internet isn't killing the news business any more than TV killed radio or radio killed the newspaper. Incumbent business leaders in news haven't been keeping up. Many leaders continue to help push the business into the ditch by wasting "resources" (management speak for talented people) on recycling commodity news. Reader habits are changing and vertically curated views need to be meshed with horizontal read-around ones.Exactly. There's been too much misdirected blame placed on the internet, even though the internet has never been the problem. Not keeping up with what readers want is where the mistakes have been made.
Blaming the new leaders or aggregators for disrupting the business of the old leaders, or saber-rattling and threatening to sue are not business strategies -- they are personal therapy sessions. Go ask a music executive how well it works.
I believe in the link economy. Please feel free to link to our stories -- it adds value to all producers of content. I believe you should play fair and encourage your readers to read-around to what others are producing if you use it and find it interesting.That's basically exactly what I had suggested Reuters say... so that's great. Once again, this makes me want to look for Reuters alternatives to any AP story I happen to come across.
I don't believe you could or should charge others for simply linking to your content. Appropriate excerpting and referencing are not only acceptable, but encouraged.
Of course, I don't agree with everything Ahearn has to say, though I do agree with the overall spirit of what he's saying. He talks about the need to agree "on a code of conduct and ethics." I'm not against the concept, I just don't see how it's possible or even necessary. These things tend to sort themselves out. Players who are "bad actors" become obvious over time. Good players get rewarded for it, and you deal with some questionable players on the margin. Rather than worrying about what everyone else is doing, why not just focus on providing more value yourself?
Then there's this:
Let's identify how we can birth it and agree what is "fair use" or "fair compensation" and have a conversation about how we can work together to fuel a vibrant, productive and trusted digital news industry. Let's identify business models that are inclusive and that create a win-win relationship for all parties.The thing is, the law says what's fair use, not any voluntary agreement. And "fair compensation" isn't determined by everyone chatting (that could be seen as collusion, actually), but in the market actually doing deals. I'm all for discussions on positive business models that are inclusive and create win-win relationships. That's why we highlight examples of that all the time around here. But I don't think discussing good business models means getting an entire industry to agree to use them ahead of time. For better or for worse (well, I'd argue for better), the world just doesn't work that way. The win-win business models are being developed already -- and that's great. Let's keep looking at those success stories, and pull out the important lessons from them -- but that doesn't mean everyone "agreeing" to things beforehand. Unfortunately, that's just not going to happen. There are too many vested interests to make it work. But the nice thing is that those who don't figure it out get swept out with the tide.