Steve Yelvington has a great phrase for the oft-repeated claim that newspapers ‘sowed the seeds of their own demise’ by putting their content online for free many years ago:
He calls it the ‘original sin’ myth:
“The most charitable thing I can say about it is: This is bullshit.”
I’ll let you read his post to get the full background, but as someone else who was there at the time I can only say: He’s right. What choice did publishers have? Let AOL or MSN steal an emerging fast-growing market as theirs declined?
The thing about this myth is that it relies upon some sort of ‘genie in the bottle’: the idea that news organisations had something special that they ‘let out’. That’s a nice story, but it’s only half the story. Continue reading →
Great post at Boing Boing (which AP could learn a thing or two about new business models from) on AP’s recent announcement “that they had spent millions of dollars on a DRM system for news that would limit how you could paste the text you copied from your browser window”. Ed Felten did some digging:
“Unfortunately for AP, the hNews spec bears little resemblance to AP’s claims about it. hNews is a handy way of annotating news stories with information about the author, dateline, and so on. But it doesn’t “encapsulate” anything in a “wrapper”, nor does it do much of anything to facilitate metering, monitoring, or paywalls.
“AP also says that hNews ” includes a digital permissions framework that lets publishers specify how their content is to be used online”. This may sound like a restrictive DRM scheme, aimed at clawing back the rights copyright grants to users. But read the fine print. hNews does include a “rights” field that can be attached to an article, but the rights field uses ccREL, the Creative Commons Rights Expression Language, whose definition states unequivocally that it does not limit users’ rights already granted by copyright and can only convey further rights to the user.”