All this phony victimology is getting beyond ridiculous.
If newspaper execs like Brenda Hopkins and Sam Zell are so upset about Google "looting" their content, why don't they simply block Google from indexing their websites? It isn't hard to do. On their website, Google very publicly posts instructions explaining how any site that doesn't want to appear in their search results can opt out. I believe all it takes is 2 short lines of code and Google will entirely ignore them.
The webmasters who run these newspapers' sites are certainly aware of this. Yet no newspapers opt out. Why? Because they know that their traffic would plummet without Google.
Instead, they welcome the readers the search engines provide them for free, while hypocritically accusing them of stealing. Now that's chutzpah.
"There will be the same job for the touring musician, as long as they are touring. Managers will get a cut of income, but not income from album sales - just a cut from touring. Songwriting, editing, engineering, and production expenses will have to be paid from somewhere. Right now, many of these are paid out of album sales, but if the music is free, they'll come out of the "scarce goods." That's a net loss unless something makes up for it."
It's true that diminishing revenue from CD sales may mean that there will be a smaller pile of money to divide among the musicians and the people who helped to create and promote the music. Label executives, managers, marketers and distributors may not make as much money as they once did. That's bad for them, because some may lose their jobs or have to take pay cuts. But it is a reality. There is no law that says something "has to make up for it." The industry is not simply entitled in perpetuity to make the same profits it once enjoyed, back when people were willing to pay high prices for CDs. Things change.
If the musicians are very good, and many people come to see their shows and buy their merchandise, then there will still be lots of money to spread around even without CD profits. Maybe it won't be as much as in the old days. Maybe it will be more.
Great post, Mike. I'd add one more step to your timeline: #10: The paywall papers realize they've made a huge mistake and tear down the walls, making a big deal of how they're now free! But by then their once influential brand names have lost their pull and their former readers have gone elsewhere. The paywallers find themselves at the back of the pack--behind all the "new media" types they used to mock.
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