There is no hot news. All news is hot news.

The most dangerous defensive tactic parried by legacy news organizations today is their attempt to claim ownership of “hot news” and prevent others from repeating what they gather at their expense for as long as they determine that news is still hot. It is a threat to free speech and the First Amendment and our doctrines of copyright and fair use. It is a threat to news.

The old companies — NY Times, Advance, Gannett, Belo, McClatchy, Scripps, AFP, AP, Washington Post, et al — are lining up against the new companies — Google and Twitter — on hot news as they file briefs in the TheFlyOnTheWall.com case. I’ve just read both briefs and will give you highlights in a moment.

Hot news also makes an ominous appearance in the Federal Trade Commission’s thinking about rescuing legacy news companies as it proposes a constitutionally abhorrent doctrine of “proprietary facts.” And hot news is a factor in the dissemination of Rolling Stone’s story about Gen. Stanley McChrystal, which the Times’ David Carr writes about today, scolding Time and Politico for reproducing the story because RS hadn’t (and because it was so hot).

Hot news refers to a 1918 case, INS v. AP, in which one wire service — barred from transmitting news from Britain in the war — rewrote the others’ news for its clients three time zones away. It was cited in the Fly case, in which brokers — Barclays, Merrill, Morgan Stanley, et al — complained that the web site repeated its analysts’ recommendations. Now news companies want to use hot news to restrict aggregators and others; Google and Twitter are trying to cut them off at the pass.

Hot news is ridiculously obsolete. What’s hot today? As Tom Glocer, head of Thomson Reuters, said, his news is most valuable for “miliseconds.” Hot news limitations should be repellant to journalists, even desperate ones, because every journalist builds on the facts revealed by others. It should further be repugnant to them as it constitutes a form of court-supervised prior restraint. Hot news restrictions would be suicidal to news organizations — even though they foolishly think it would protect them — because it would restrict everyone’s ability to spread the news via links and send journalists audience. Hot news should worry every citizen because the free flow of information is vital to a democracy.

The architecture of news and media — how it is gathered and shared — has changed utterly since 1918 … and 1998. That’s what makes the Rolling Stone story instructive. McChrystal’s quotes leaked and spread instantly, having significant and instant impact on news and the affairs of state. The fact of the quotes was hot news indeed. As I asked four days ago, under hot news, would the magazine have been able to prevent others from repeating these facts? Ridiculous, no? Because Rolling Stone did not publish its own story online and because it was so hot, Politico and Time published PDFs of it — even though Time is a party to the Fly brief — which Carr perhaps rightly scolds them for. But maybe he should also scold Rolling Stone for not recognizing the importance of its news and recognizing the opportunity in sharing it. Once Rolling Stone did put the story on the web, the other publications linked to it. The link economy works when given a chance. So does the First Amendment.

“Once facts are made public,” says the Google-Twitter brief, “they belong to the public.” Once McChrystal’s quotes were known, they were part of the democratic dialog. To restrict us — anyone — from repeating them is to steal from the public. (That is a key argument in my next book.) “The reporting of truthful information,” says the brief, “is one of the most protected forms of speech under the Constitution…” These parties aren’t just fighting about old and new media. They are fighting about the nature and value of the public sphere.

The two briefs illuminate the worldviews of the two camps all too clearly. The legacy companies’ brief argues that hot news is “necessary to protect the news industry’s incentive to gather and report news….” It complains about “free riders” who may repeat their news at lower cost. “One of the greatest concerns among news originators,” they say, “is inexpensive technology that allows easy aggregation of news.” The legacy companies nowhere even acknowledge the economic value of links to their news.

The news companies complain about newspapers going bankrupt, not acknowledging that fate came as the result of high debt and mismanagement. They even have the balls to whine that news is a “low-margin business under economic pressure” (though not long ago, it was a high-margin monopoly). They say they are not going after occasional use of others’ facts — since they all do it — but instead the “systematic” (read: computerized) gathering of their news. They do not acknowledge the tools — robots.txt — that allow them to cut off aggregators. It’s an intellectually disappointing, morally weaselly attempt to get anticompetitive aid from the courts while blithely ignoring the profound constitutional implications for news and the democracy.

The Google-Twitter brief issues many calls to the importance of free speech and news in a democracy that only a few years ago the news organizations would have been saluting. It cites a 1991 case, Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service, in which the court said that “[t]he first person to find and report a particular fact has not created the fact; he or she has merely discovered its existence.” Thus even competitors “remain free to use the facts contained in another’s publication to aid in preparing a competing work.” Says the brief: “Central to Feist is the rejection of the notion that ‘sweat of the brow’ can itself create intellectual property rights. ‘The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors but to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.”‘” Hot news, they argue, “attempts an end-run around the Copyright Clause.”

Google-Twitter remind the court that news organizations all use each others’ facts: TV stations repeat newspapers’ reporting without attribution and now newspapers do the same to TV. Indeed, the brief says Feist establishes that “the freedom to use facts — even to “free-ride” on facts gathered by others through great effort — is constitutionally protected. Friend Spencer Reiss just told me how he moved mountains to cover Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in time for a hard Newsweek deadline only to find that his editors in New York got what they needed from TV. That is our news ecosystem; it’s not new, only bigger and faster.

“In a world of modern communications technology,” the Google-Twitter brief says, “where anyone with a cell phone may disseminate news throughout the world even as it is occurring, the notion that a single media outlet should have a monopoly on time-sensitive facts is not only contrary to law, it is, as a practical matter, futile.” They worry that news organizations would pay sources not to cooperate with competitors and that judges would become “super-editors” determining the hot time period of, in their example, news about the Times Square bombing.

Worse, even the fear of litigation would “chill the lawful dissemination of important news by fostering uncertainty among news outlets as to how long they must ‘sit’ on a story before they are free of a potential ‘hot news’ claim.” During last week’s damaging storms in the New York area, I saw a Long Islander complain that by keeping its news behind a wall, Newsday was ill-serving the safety of its community. Says Google-Twitter: “Breaking news may involve a threat to public health or security, but the district court’s opinion, if affirmed, would stifle the dissemination of such crucial facts — a particularly dangerous outcome in circumstances where the time-sensitive nature of the event is the precise reason why the facts should be widely disseminated as quickly as possible.” If Newsday has a better forecast than a competitor, could it keep the fact of a warning of danger to itself?

In the U.S. and Europe, news organizations are trying to extend copyright and limit fair use but the Google-Twitter brief is eloquent in objection. “Under Feist, this Court has repeatedly confirmed that facts must remain in the public domain, free from any restraint or encumbrance.” It quotes another case: “[A]ll facts — scientific, historical biographical, and news of the day … may not be copyrighted and are part of the public domain available to every person.” Another: “[R]aw facts may be copied at will. This result is neither unfair nor unfortunate. It is the means by which copyright advances the progress of science and art.” Another: “[A]llowing the first publisher to prevent others from copying such information would defeat the objectives of copyright by impeding rather than advancing the progress of knowledge.” Do news organizations truly want to oppose the progress of knowledge?

Says the Google-Twitter brief: “The modern ubiquity of multiple news platforms renders ‘hot news’ misappropriation an anachronism, aimed at muzzling all but the most powerful media companies. In a world of citizen journalists and commentators, online news organizations, and broadcasters who compete 24 hours a day, news can no longer be contained for any meaningful amount of time.” This fight sn’t just about a few huge companies. This fight is about our rights.

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  • http://tbd.com Steve Buttry

    Great analysis, Jeff! Beyond the hypocrisy that longtime champions of the First Amendment are pushing this outrage is the cluelessness of not recognizing how severely this would harm newspapers, who, as the largest news organizations, make the most use of others’ facts (because every journalist, even in most scoops, still builds on a combination of fresh material and facts that surfaced elsewhere). Most notably, in virtually every breaking story (as I have documented repeatedly: http://bit.ly/bbdw42), newspapers are playing catchup to Twitter anyway. I don’t know whether those facts would belong to Twitter or the individual tweep under a hot-news doctrine. But I know newspapers would be outraged to learn that they couldn’t report those facts.

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  • http://blogs.agrawals.org/category/newspapers Rocky

    @Steve

    I’m betting when it comes to taking hot news off Twitter, news organizations would just ignore whatever restrictions they fought for. News organizations routinely ignore even copyright when it comes to footage (Rodney King beating) and photos (US Airways plane in Hudson). Let the lawyers sort it out later, if someone bothers to raise a challenge.

  • http://flavors.me/howard Howard Weaver

    Doesn’t fair debate demand honesty in presenting your opposition’s arguments? As I read the industry brief, the most powerful argument is about protecting against “defendants that continuously and ‘systematically’…copy and republish news gathered by another.”

    Continuously and systematically. All your analysis ignores that qualifier.

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      Like TV?

  • Stan Hogan

    Your argument about TV is disingenuous. If hot news “facts” are presented on television almost all newspapers would seek to confirm those facts through the source and present their own version of the story. Maybe they cite the TV story, maybe they don’t but they get their own story.

    This is hardly similar to Google and Twitter, both of which will use unique content produced by others and present it as their own news report.

    Somewhere along the line you became convinced the money newspapers spent on gathering news was irrelevant to its ownership.

    As far as the “link economy,” there really is no such thing for the originators of news. The traffic driven to their sites from outside their region has little real value in almost all cases. There is a link but no economy. You have been preaching a false economy and are unbendable in the face of its failure.

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      First, if we all watch the same speech on TV, there’s no need to confirm the speech was made. I’ve been in plenty of newsrooms where we just write about it. And fine. We are witnesses.

      Second, you, like the old companies, keep looking at aggregation as if it is theft when I say it is a gift of audience. What you do with that audience — whether you can serve them and create a relationship of value — is up to you, not those who send them to you. That’s your problem. The newspaper industry long, long ago should have tried to find more value in out-of-town readers through shared selling of national advertising. I even tried to convince the Associated Press to do that. But, no, they just complained, calling readers worthless. What an insult. What a waste.

      The link economy is a reality. If you can’t make a go of it in the new economic reality, there’s little I can do about it and nothing complaining will do about it. And believe me, there are plenty of young entrepreneurs who will see and seize the opportunities there.

      • Stan Hogan

        OK, let me just make a few points. I know arguing the false economy of your new journalism is a waste of time here. All I have on my side is overwhelming evidence of its failure that you arrogantly choose to dismiss.

        You scold media companies for doing exactly what you have been preaching. They have given away their product in order to drive web numbers. They have been successful at that, at least, owning the local online audience. But that’s not enough. The money isn’t coming in, so they decide those numbers must continue to grow and the prize will suddenly appear. They allow sites to aggregate their content, giving those sites the appearance of legitimate news outlets. They’ve give up the franchise to pretenders.

        The payoff is a link. A link economy, as you say. Where is the economy? It does not exist, at least at a level that would come close to sustaining the ability to produce the content they have been giving away. You have insulted journalists again and again yet demand their product for your vision of this new economy.

        Media companies have been using bogus metrics like page views and unique visitors and advertisers aren’t buying. What good is my ad on a site that gets a great portion of its traffic from fark? Shared selling of national advertising? Are you kidding?

        Newspapers belong to a cooperative, AP, that charges them tens of thousands of dollars a month in many cases for its content, then makes deals with online giants that devalues that content for the media companies. AP is facing a revolt from its “members” unless it takes steps to restore its product’s value.

        Finally Jeff, you love love to use “old” and “new” as your dismissive key words. Your “new” is a path to failure. Good “old” common sense needs to return. That means re-embracing the belief that what journalists produce has value that can be monetized by keeping it as exclusive as possible. The free-for-all must end. You can’t grasp that.

      • Bill

        @ stan 10:09am

        the issue here is a fundamental one – the net has dropped the cost of content distribution to nearly zero. It has also dropped the cost of shopping for content as a consumer to near zero.

        I’m hardly old, but I remember when the only way to read the NYT was to hike down to my local library. And forget about trying to find the Indy Star to read up on Colts coverage.

        But if content distribution is free, if the cost to find new content is free and the desire to produce content is unrelated to material gain (like spending 10 minutes typing this post) – then we wind up with more content (audience) than advertising.

        In other words – total content volume in the pre-digital world was artificially constrained by ad spending. Effective content volume (what an individual consumer could readily access) was constrained by cost and geography. The internet, by reducing or eliminating market barriers, broke that linkage between content and advertising volumes.

        So I think Jeff is right – it is ‘your’ problem if ‘you’ are an old-line media company trying to extract value from audience in a deflationary environment.

        Stan is right on in his comment below that the value in this new environment doesn’t come close to sustaining the content production built under the old system.

        It never will.

        But blaming that on aggregators, or emergent media, or free content is kind of like John Henry getting mad at the steam engine.

    • Andy Freeman

      > This is hardly similar to Google and Twitter, both of which will use unique content produced by others and present it as their own news report.

      Umm, no, that’s not what Google (Search) and Twitter does.

      Google (Search) provides a list of links to content. To see that content, you must visit the relevant page. (Google News is different, but it involves contracts with the relevant companies.)

      Twitter lets people send 140 characters. Those characters can contain links. Again – to see the content, you must visit the linked-to page.

      Yes, those 140 characters can contain the text “Michael Jackson is dead”. Do you really think someone sending that is stealing? Is it also stealing if I send it via e-mail? How about if I tell someone over the phone?

      Links are actionable citations – they aren’t content.

      It is generally recognized that saying “NYT, January 30, 2009, page 23 said that Michael Jackson died” is not stealing the NYT’s content. (Note that that text typically doesn’t appear in the NYT on that day. At most, it appears in later references.)

      The “actionable” part makes it possible for a reader to get to the relevant NYT page IFF the NYT wishes to make that page available to that user. Making it easier to get to the relevant NYT page is not stealing.

      > The traffic driven to their sites from outside their region has little real value in almost all cases.

      It’s unclear why you’re complaining about such traffic – it’s readers that you didn’t have before.

      However, you’re free to monetize your traffic any way that you see fit. You’re not obligated to serve pages to all comers, so if you can’t make enough money on such folks, don’t serve your pages to them. They’ll go somewhere else or do without.

      Of course, readers have options too. If you won’t serve them in a way that they like, they’ll go elsewhere or do without.

      And yes, Google will help them find other sources.

      That’s why unique and valuable are far more important than good.

      And, if you think that folks should pay you for repeating “Michael Jackson is dead”, you’re going to end up paying hospitals for that information. Remember, reporters aren’t sources unless the story is about reporters.

  • http://postadvertising.com Kirk Cheyfitz

    Jeff, great post. A question: Is there any distinction to be made between facts that are generally available if you just make an effort to go discover them and facts which are created by lengthy enterprise reporting that, essentially, cannot be duplicated? I’m really just thinking out loud, but I’m reminded of the times in ancient history when newspapers would take special pains to copyright certain investigative pieces on the theory that the copyright would force more news outlets to attribute the information to the originator of the piece. It seems that what we want is ensured or assured attribution. That’s what a link is, really: attribution and a connection to the originator. Now, I certainly don’t want to see a law about all this, but isn’t it essential good manners for an aggregator to link to the source and attribute the news to the originator?

  • Eric Gauvin

    As for “link economy” I think it really means 2 main things:

    1) internet-based content distribution and/or

    2) something to do with “monetizing” incoming traffic which you’ve never satisfactorily explained

    You say “links have value,” but it’s really the destination of the link that has value to the person who sends the link.

    Many of the things you say about what you call “the link economy” make sense, but really just means the same thing as “website traffic is good.”

    If there were really a “link economy” and links had the kind of value you’ve described,

    1) people wouldn’t just give away links

    2) recipients would need to or want to pay for links

    http://www.ericgauvin.com/?p=26

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      Eric,
      I’m not trying to invent an economy but to describe an economy that already exists. The link economy is not what I’m recommending but it is the result of the architecture of media on the internet. The wise thing to do is to learn how it works and fine opportunity in it.
      Indeed, there are examples of what you suggest — what I’d call reverse syndication. Yahoo used to pay Reuters to run its news. Then the deal shifted a few years ago: Yahoo ran headline and sent traffic to Reuters which paid Yahoo for the traffic — the links. I’ve argued that the NY Times and Washington Post should have fought to do the same for every newspaper in the country, providing Washington coverage to them as they closed their bureaus on a value-share basis. But then, of course, Politico beat them to the deal because they couldn’t see the opportunity and to Politico, it wasn’t about trying to preserve the old ink economy but about seeing new opportunities in a new economy.

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      Eric,
      It was you who pushed me on internet as place (vs. medium), right? If so, thanks. It has affected my thinking as I work on the book. I’m coming to see that you’re right: this is more than a place within the world we know; it’s a new kind of world. That’s your point, is it?

      • Eric Gauvin

        Can’t remember. Basically I was arguing that the Internet is not a place inhabited by people (who need a bill of rights).

    • Private

      Reuters pays Yahoo! for traffic? Then what? Does Reuters get revenue from advertising on it’s site?

      Is this revenue more than what Yahoo! was paying for the headlines (must be)?

      • Andy Freeman

        > Does Reuters get revenue from advertising on it’s site?

        Why wouldn’t Reuters get revenue from advertising on Reuter’s site? If they didn’t, why would they carry it?

        Yahoo’s home page delivers traffic for a fee. How those sites turn said traffic into revenue is up to them.

        Note that search delivers traffic for free….

  • Eric Gauvin

    Doh! You shouldn’t have deleted the comment about copyright… Why did you do that?

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      I told him long ago that I would delete him without even reading. He went over the line too often and should find a life (elsewhere). That’s one troll I’ll starve.

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  • DBoogie

    Well, the comment in the article about the McChrystal event is instructional, but not for the reasons cited.

    Internet “news” (as it is often graciously called) tends to blow things out of proportion, due to the exposure it provides. Allowing comments and exposure to everyone will allow responses (we all know how inappropriate people can be online, totally detached from reality) to get bigger than necessary. Indeed, if we examine the RS issue in its entirety, we see that leaked (and presumed confidential) items were brought to the fore, precisely because certain people knew that the exposure and controversy the story would bring potentially exceeded the actual importance of the content.

    The internet is problematic for many reasons. Losing a general, when the issue are the handcuffs placed on him by civilians with little concept of what’s happening on the ground, is unacceptable. Rolling Stone did its job in getting rid of an effective commander.

    • Tex Lovera

      “…bigger than necessary”.

      And you are the one deciding what “necessary” means, right?

      No thanks…

    • http://evilpundit.mee.nu/ Evil Pundit

      Wait, you’re blaming the Internet for something that was done by Rolling Stone?

      That’s like blaming paper for the Washington Post’s exposure of Watergate.

  • Larry Grimes

    Are you suggesting that re-publishing of news by any outside organization and without permission is perfectly ok in the public interest? And even when these aggregators are doing just that on a for-profit basis? Don’t think for one minute aggregators have the public interest in mind. No, this is theft. And it is time the courts came down hard on these folks.

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      No, I’m not saying that Time and Politico were right to take the entire story and republish it. But the facts of the story are free game; facts cannot and must not be copyrights. I’m also saying that Rolling Stone should have seen the opportunity in the reality of a world of instant news; once its reporting was out, it should have been there to catch the links and audience.

      Considering that PEOPLE now send more links than aggregators — via Twitter and Facebook and blogs and such — do you think they, too, should be stopped? I doubt that.

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  • http://theintellectualside.blogspot.com/ Rob Grant

    I would love to see them try and stop “Hot news”, If it were not for people inside Iran posting video of the protested elections we wouldn’t have much of that “Hot news” to watch. If Iran couldn’t stop the leaking of the protests, then what makes people think they will be able to stop “Hot news” from spreading via the Internet.

    If you watch some of the major news channels everything that scrolls by under the talking head is an “Alert” of some sort.

    Alert: There is another car chase in California!

    Now that’s hot! No it isn’t. In fact it may be a public service to those who are near the car chase to know that they should look before crossing the street. However, there are millions of viewers of the national news who won’t be anywhere near this chaos and would rather get national news! So please major news networks (Fox you know who I’m talking about), let the local news stations report on the 5th car chase of the day and tell me what is going on in the nation.

    Jeff, I can’t stand the fact that there are people out there who feel that they can control what the people want!

  • http://www.fittoprintfilm.com Adam Chadwick

    Great article! I agree with much of the analysis Jeff pesents here. The topic of the ‘walled garden’ being a contradictory force driving traffic BACK to legacy media platforms is something which not being discussed in a very well-rounded manner.

    I am currently producing a feature-length documentary film on the U.S. newspaper industry titled: “FIT TO PRINT”.

    Recently, I interviewed Robert Picard, who mentioned the challenges facing walled garden sites such as The Wall Street Journal and Newsday. He stated that “because legacy newspapers want to blame someone, they automatically blame the aggregators.” Author John Battelle writes very eloquently on the idea that closing yourself off from public discussion is simply the wrong way to approach things. I agree.

    check out our page (under construction) when you get a chance:

    fittoprintfilm.com

  • http://LincolnParishNewsOnline.wordpress.com Walter Abbott

    Very important post and very persuasive argument, Jeff. If you follow the logic of the NYT, et al, then copyright might well extend to language itself.

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  • Clarence Cromwell

    Legitimate news sites do their own research, because they learned long ago that you can be sued for reporting a “hot story” by someone else that has errors (or is completely false). Even if someone else gets on the case first, a real news outlet will send its own reporter.

    Google is justified in assembling links to news stories, because it performs an important function for users of the Web, and it sends links to news sites. The cash value of that traffic is debatable, but it doesn’t constitute a theft any more than would an advertisement that would send customers to a local store. On the other hand, a “news” site should not borrow the entire content of a news story, or all news stories, from a legitimate newsgathering organization, without doing its own work. It is theft to let someone else do the work and then swoop in to collect the profits; organizations like that are functioning more like a racketeers than news outlets.

    Perhaps there should be more leeway for organizations that actually employ journalists. If the assumption is that news organizations borrow from one another, then borrowing background information from last week, or last month, should be allowed for full time reporters; and borrowing todays news, without contributing any new information to the story, and without crediting the source, should be forbidden.

    • Andy Freeman

      > Perhaps there should be more leeway for organizations that actually employ journalists.

      What’s a journalist and why is paying them relevant?

      Heck – what’s a news organization? Is the NRA a news organization?

      I know what reporting and opinion writing is, but that doesn’t seem to produce the “leeway” results desired.

      • Tex Lovera

        Amen.

  • http://nonewsisgooglenews.blogspot.com Joe Rotger

    —Jeff, I can’t stand the fact that there are people out there who feel that they can control what the people want!

    People want a lot of things —including free rides. Why not do away with private property, mine claims… maybe allow rape, some people want that too…

    Let’s all get whatever we want… let’s have some schmucks do the hard work for us and we take it away from them!

    Sure, legacy news organizations made the huge miscalculation of thinking that online advertising would cover the news gathering expense. It didn’t.

    The biggest misalignments with the new technoly are that news gathering or readers are mostly a local rather than an ubiquitous world wide affair. It’s not possible to get the facebook or Google search number of visits to a local news outlet. Further, content gathering is expensive, whilst facebook or Google content is freely provided by users.

    I have no problem with people getting to a news site through a Google search. But, Google News aggregation is a totally different story.

    Copyright allows fair use of content as a way of balancing the use of a small amount of content with the benefit of the attribution to the author. Or, in other words, where there is no harm done to the author.

    Google news, or any other succesful aggregator harms the brand of the legacy news gatherer. After a few years, why would any reader in search of news go the NYT, or a WAPO site… if they are used to getting all their legacy news at the aggregator’s site.

    Google news is a publication that is riding on the hard work of journalists working at the legacy news outlets, and as experience is showing, it’s an unsustainable situation —nobody can work for free, ayt least not for long!

    And, let’s not kid ourselves, eventually, when the last legacy news organization folds, Google will take the spoils… and journalists will be working for chinese wages.

    Is there any good reason not to pay for honest hard work?

    • Tex Lovera

      OK, can someone explain this to me?

      When I go to Google and click on the “News” link, I get a bunch of links to stories. Those links consist of a headline, and in some cases, what appears to be the first one or two sentences from the story, and maybe a thumbnail photo.

      If I click on the link, I get taken to the original site of the story.

      How in hell is this “Google stealing their news content”????

      Or am I seriously missing somehting??

      • http://nonewsisgooglenews.blogspot.com Joe Rotger

        You are. It hurts something very dear and valuable to any franchise: brand name recognition.

        To put it simply. How valuable is the name The New York Times, or The Wall Street Journal? and so on… You can buy the equipment and hire personnel, but…

        If people go to Google for their news, they will forget whose in the back room serving the news.

        Google News is a “publication”. Google makes a concerted effort to edit the news in order to attract an audience, with the aggravation that they are picking in the process the best articles of the litter — mostly, at no expense.

        Another example. Google is giving away telephone numbers for free, how long will it be till they take control of the voice communications industry too?

        Maybe you would get upset if you had a relative (a publication like Google News) hitching (aggregating) a free ride on your car to work every day, with you paying for the car (investment), and the gas and oil (expenses)…

        What if he took a friend along and charged him for the ride (advertised), like Newser, Yahoo news and other aggregators? Wouldn’t you feel that a little annoyed?

        What if the car you were riding was a taxi (publication), because it’s how you make a living, and somehow you feel that you no longer can meet your obligations, that you’re losing money?

      • Tex Lovera

        I think you’re missing something: People go to Google for HEADLINES. They have to go to the ORIGINAL SITE to get the STORY.

        Do you “buy” a newspaper for the headlines, or the story??

        You say Google “edits” the news. What they do is pick which headlines to run.

        Google is sending these sites TRAFFIC. A lot of this is traffic that these papers would have NEVER received but for the fact that Google put up the headline link to the story! I’d say that’s an EXTREMELY good trade. If the paper CAN’T MAKE MONEY off the eyeballs they do get, then how is reducing the number of eyeballs (by cutting out Google) going to suddenly make them profitable??

    • http://www.ktvz.com Barney Lerten

      Joe, I have not seen a SINGLE CASE in which Google News creates its own content, rather than links to the original sources (huge duplicity via AP repetitiveness) of that information.
      They don’t do the blog thing of writing a piece full of links. THEY ONLY OFFER LINKS. To those brands. Enhancing those brands. Sourced right below the headline, above the lead paragraph, or a truncated version.
      How does that do anything but help the news organizations they link to? It surely doesn’t hurt them. I can’t see how it can be argued otherwise.

      • http://nonewsisgooglenews.blogspot.com Joe Rotger

        Barney,

        Google News puts a lot of effort, although much of it is software development, in the selection (editing) and the presentation (editing) of the news (that they mostly get for free from others) to detour and attract an audience into their publication.

        And yes! they do not provide content, they take snippets from news gatherers to publish their edition, —where their intention is clearly to provide a publication—, which is attractive because it gives a brief look at selected news from a universe of publications, —which is in itself a unique and unfair advantage over any individual publication.

        It’s undoubtedly a “publication” with no self gathered content, which is promoted in every Google News link in every toolbar, search and the gazillion daily interactions with Google (newsstands).

        Then there is also the “offer and demand” issue. With some caveats, we may assume that the demand for advertising should not have changed with the newer technology. But, each aggregator site has a multiplier effect on the offer of available space to advertise. As a consequence, advertising prices should’ve dropped &mdas;and we know they have plummeted!

        A copyrighted material may be “Fair Use(d)” as long as it doesn’t harm the author. Clearly, Google and other aggregators are harming the legacy brands and their advertising income source by multiplying the venues.

    • Andy Freeman

      > Google news is a publication that is riding on the hard work of journalists working at the legacy news outlets

      Sites appear on Google News because they choose to do so.

      http://www.google.com/support/news_pub/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=94003

      They’re free to block specific content before Google News shows it or after.

      http://www.google.com/support/news_pub/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=11709

      I’d guessing that the most popular Google News page for news organizations is http://www.google.com/support/news_pub/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=11662 .

      Who are you to tell the sites on Google News that they’re wrong?

      • http://nonewsisgooglenews.blogspot.com Joe Rotger

        Andy,

        It’s not that clear cut.

        —Who are you to tell the sites on Google News that they’re wrong?

        If our streets (searches) are controlled by muggers (aggregators), it’s not a choice to stay at home (to stay out of searches) to avoid getting mugged.

        All I’m saying is stop the outlawed muggers!

        • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

          that makes NO sense. want to turn off traffic to you, fine, just use robots.txt. that’s that.

      • Andy Freeman

        > It’s not that clear cut.

        Actually it is.

        > If our streets (searches) are controlled by muggers (aggregators),

        Searches aren’t “our streets” – they’re a service provided by Google. If you don’t want to be available via Google search, you’re free to opt out.

        Google doesn’t provide content; it just delivers traffic. If you don’t want that traffic, opt out.

        Sites that participate in Google News do so because they want traffic.

        Surely you’re not going to argue that Google has some obligation to provide traffic on terms other than those that Google wants. If so, I’m going to ask why the NYT isn’t obligated to provide coverage for my stuff. I’m also going to ask why the NYT isn’t obligated to ask my permission before citing my work or telling people how to get it from me. (After all, that’s what links do.)

  • http://blogdredd.blogspot.com/ Dredd

    Interesting perspective. News should belong to us all.

    Old news can become new, hot news depending on circumstances.

    For example, scientific studies conducted beginning in 1999 indicated that the seabed of the Gulf of Mexico was unstable because of hydrates, and that drilling there could cause a catastrophic ecological and economic disaster.

    Old news but hot news non-the-less.

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  • http://twitter.com/mika2k1 mika.

    Much if not all of the main stream media and its propaganda priests take direction (and dictation) from the American CIA and British SIS. (See: The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed The Jewish People by John Loftus and Mark Aarons). People need to understand this. Most everything presented to you by the MSM is orchestrated theater and lies. It is “reality” in the same way that the Neo’s “Matrix” world is reality. The propaganda tools are quite simple: One is obsessive attention on distraction and fabricated theater, and the other is deliberate neglect of real issues and facts. There’s only one purpose behind all this, and that’s to advance the fascist/corporatist Anglo-American empire and the king petrodollar.

    Jeff, you’re probably astute enough to know and understand all this. To my eyes, everything having to do with imperialism is supremely evil. That includes Yankee Imperialism. Imperialism being a euphemism for genocide. (Demographic genocide, cultural genocide, informational genocide, libertarian genocide, financial genocide, nutritional genocide, etc.). The MSM and its propaganda priests are card-carrying members of the imperialist class. These people deserve no mercy, and neither does the corrupt government mafia and corrupt judiciary, that has been bought and paid for. They should all be run out town.

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