Pay up!  News content on the Net? Would you be willing to pay for it?
Pay up! News content on the Net? Would you be willing to pay for it?

Rupert Murdoch and Tom Curley are reported to have made a strong speech at the World Media summit in Beijing.  Their issue?  News aggregators, Google, Bloggers and just about anyone else who he thinks is taking readers/revenue away from him (IMO).

Mr Murdoch had this to say in regards to viewers /revenue being taken away from content creators.  His first target?  It appears that Google is one of the companies in his sights.

I certainly use other sites to get my breaking news, what Mr Murdoch doesn’t seem to acknowledge is that I, (like I believe other readers) will find a subject that interests me on a blog and then after reading follow the link to the source to get more information (which hopefully the blogger/aggregator has provided).  If that source is a commercial enterprise, they won’t make money from me because I block the ads.

Its being suggested that its costing the AP and it members tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue and has allegedly plans to run a system called “news indexing” which is going to track sites which use its news unlicensed.   How this is going to work is anyone’s guess as I’ve yet to find any more information on it at time of writing this article.

The Wall Street Journal is apparently planning on charging mobile phone users $2 per week for its news to be read.  Will that take off?  I hope not.

In the meantime things seem to tick along as they always have, its funny that all these businesses that were slow on the uptake when it came to realising how effective the net could be are now in my opinion scrambling to try and find means of making money after their late realization.  Sorry Mr Murdoch, I don’t think internet users will stand for that.  I think we left you behind years ago.

The aggregators and plagiarists will soon have to pay a price for the co-opting of our content.

But if we do not take advantage of the current movement toward paid content, it will be the content creators  the people in this hall  who will pay the ultimate price and the content kleptomaniacs who triumph.

In my opinion Mr Murdoch is sounding a little desperate.  Does he really believe people will stand for paid news content?  Mr Murdoch, people don’t even like advert heavy pages (they usually block them with a Firefox extension)  and if you think its going to be easy to clamp down on free speech and the passing of information I think you are deluded.  The net has a culture of free, we see it with Twitter, Facebook et al, users IMO will not stand for anything less.  How on earth is Mr Murdoch going to tackle this issue?  In respect of news aggregators how is he going to track a site which could potentially be anywhere in the world?

Should bloggers be worried? in my opinion no.  Does Mr Murdoch et al need to re-consider his opinion?  I would say in respect of paid content, yes.

Impossible to police and completely against the wishes of the web user (IMO).  Sorry Mr Murdoch, just as you are seeing with printed media, you will either have to “go with the program” and find a way to bring people to your news or you can simply “crash and burn”.

Mr Curly said:

Crowd-sourcing web services such as Wikipedia, YouTube and Facebook have become preferred customer destinations for breaking news, displacing the websites of traditional news publishers.

Live with it.  If, IMO you had tackled this issue years ago you may have had a footing.  In my opinion this is all bark with no bite and will certainly not end in tears.

You can read an article covering the subject in more depth here.