I found Google boss Eric Schmidt's comments to the American Newspaper Association this week a tad provocative. So I wrote this. It has attracted the usual barrage of ranting. I find it difficult to grasp why people find it hard to perceive Google as a company as driven by the profit motive as News International or Associated. Ho hum.

Comments

You say in the piece that newsroom redundancies are a direct consequence of Google's relationship with journalism, but how can that be? Newspapers can't make enough money online, yes, but how does Google make that any worse?

Is it something to do with online advertising revenue?

Good question John

Aggregators thrive on the assertion that established copyright/intellectual property laws  are obsolete. By doing so they undermines the idea that original reporting (or writing, or music or film) is a valuable asset that must be purchased. I contend that this is absurd. New technology has no divine right to ignore established rules about intellectual property. To believe that it does makes no more sense than imagining that the invention of the printing press gave every press owner the right to publish books without paying their author. The Google model deprives writers and publishers of payment for consumption of their work. The irony, in my opinion, is that, in the end, Google will destroy the content creators on which it indirectly depends for its own revenues. By encouraging people to believe news is free it directly damages newspapers. Of course, newspapers did themselves equivalent damage by putting content online without requiring payment. In retrospect I think that was a disastrous error. No matter, we are at the very beginning of the internet era. Like all revolutions it is proving that destruction is easier and faster than the re-building that must take place afterwards. There will be rebuilding though, and I do not believe it will happen the way the aggregators want it to.  

 

Caning Google