Everyone – But Newspapers – Profits Off Content

Mar 9, 2009 by

The debate over newspapers charging for content probably will never end; but we should at least address those “third parties” making money off newspapers – it’s time to pay up.

Think about it. News links sites like The Drudge Report run links of newspaper headlines. Nothing against Drudge, I use it all the time.

But I also notice there’s lots of ads on those sites. I doubt that money is being shared with newspapers – and it’s the newspapers’ content.

It’s very creative: simply start a link site, build up a lot of traffic and start selling ads. Not a lot of work involved – the newspapers are doing it all for you. Plus their content is free, so what’s the harm?

There are also any number of blog sites – liberal and conservative – that exist for the most part to comment on the news stories they pick up from newspapers. Again, they’ve got ads all over the place. They aren’t sharing that revenue with newspapers.

I just don’t understand why some other entity/person should make money off my (newspaper’s) content, without my getting something out of it.

Newspapers may want to continue down the wrong path of giving away their product (content), but they need to address others who profit from it without fair compensation.

Update: In thinking about this some more, credit is due to those sites that at least do link back; thus driving traffic to the newspapers’ sites. But my point still remains, newspapers need to stop this third-party free use of their content.

Everyone has the right to comment on news, but I’d prefer to see the newspapers somehow driving that conversation, and not just anyone.

2nd update: Found this article in The New York Times, which also looks at this issue.  And no, I didn’t pay for the article, and yes, I see the irony.

Quote: No more free ride to aggregators. Google announced that it would begin selling ads against Google News, with almost no financial accommodation to the organizations that generate that news. The book industry — of all Luddites — has extracted cash from Google, as did the wire services. Google, The Huffington Post and Newser have built their audiences and brands on other people’s labors. Most aggregators are not promoting newspaper content; they are repurposing it to their own ends. Newspapers’ audiences are harvested and sold divorced from the content that attracted them in the first place. The risk would be making Google, the kingmaker on the Web, angry.

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1 Comment

  1. Tom Awtry

    I’m not saying my News makes any sense or is Interesting; however I’m not a journalist either, but there is a lot of worth wild news to report on and along with that some positive, factual and informative news instead of looking for negative news.



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