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David Poland

By David Poland

Eye Off The Prize

I am amazed that the drum keeps getting beaten for the idea that Google and aggregation in general is what is killing Old Media.
The formula for fixing this, as much as it can be fixed, is incredibly simple.
Syndication of content leads to an uncontrolled spread of page views on your copyrighted material. Want to read an AP story? Every paper they syndicate to has a website and as an aggregator, you have the choice of who you are going to give page views to every time you create a link. If the AP wants to stop that and wants to take advantage of views of their material, they need to stop syndicating… or at the very least, force the use of their copyrighted materials behind locals walls in each market and only offer a national link via a site of their own.
Now, the direct result may be that local news organizations place a lower financial value on the AP wire than before and they try to make deals for similar content with Reuters or other content providers. But that is business competition.
I am completely sympathetic to the fact that these businesses got to make money coming and going in recent years, facing no serious competition outside of one or two major competitors, with whom they split the giant pie. But that is over.
The second major step is to push a very specific set of rules that the Old Media companies feel constitutes Fair Use. But it needs to be a fair set of rules.
My suggestion is 500 characters that includes the original headline, a byline, and a date and time of publication, as well as a link to the original material. That would be something like:
Impressionist Fred Travalena dies at 66
9:23 PM EDT, June 29, 2009
Travalena died Sunday at his Encino, Calif., home of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 66.
By some counts, he could mimic more than 150 famous people.
The Associated Press reported that Travalena, who also sang and acted, reached headliner status at the Stardust Resort and Casino in 2001, a year before the lymphoma first hit. He beat cancer twice but succumbed to the latest attack, which resurfaced about eight months ago, said his publicist, Roger Neal.

If you wanted to use a pull-quote without the rest, max 150 characters:
Travalena died Sunday at his Encino, Calif., home of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 66.
By some counts, he could mimic more than 150 famous people. (Newsday/AP)

Real simple.

One Response to “Eye Off The Prize”

  1. mysteryperfecta says:

    Sounds good.

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