Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
What do you do if you're an established publisher or broadcaster and you find
that technology is putting you at a disadvantage when compared to the smaller,
smarter newcomers that really know how to play the dot-com game?
Most of us would probably just take a good look at the flaws in our business
model and adapt. Unfortunately some arms of the established media don't seem
to be quite so smart.
A Danish newspaper and US-based Turner Broadcasting seem to have opted to
respond in rather negative ways that show very clearly that they simply don't
have a clue.
In Denmark, one news publisher objected to the fact that another news site,
which specialises in headline/link aggregation, was linking directly to its
stories -- so they sued them.
Even stupider -- the Danish court has actually
granted a temporary injunction
to stop the aggregator from publishing such links!
Dumb, dumb, dumb! That's the only way to describe any court that would effectively
seek to rip apart the threads from which the world wide web is woven.
Of course this isn't the first time that naive news publishers have objected
to other sites linking to their stories and I should know. Over the years
I've done battle with a number of such confused organisations including
TVNZ, IRN and even The Nando Times. Suffice to say I'm still here and all
those publishers now have no problems with links from other websites.
Let's hope that Denmark's news publishers get a good dose of commonsense sometime
But what about Turner Broadcasting? What are they bitching about?
Well it's all to do with these new Tivo/Replay-TV boxes that effectively allow
users to instantly jump forwards 30 or 60 seconds at a time -- even when
watching what appears to be live content.
Yes, suddenly you can zip right past those annoying advertisements that are
liberally sprinkled through your evening's viewing.
Turner's CEO Jaimie Kellner has labeled this type of ad-skipping as "stealing"
and wants it stopped.
She seems to be under the delusion that if you and I choose to watch TV then
we are legally bound to also watch the ads -- it's an implied contract you see.
What a silly thing to say. I've never seen such a contract and how naive of
her to even suggest that the laws should be altered just to protect her
ailing business model.
Would it have been fair to suggest that computers be made illegal because
they threatened the livelihood of typewriter manufacturers? Of course not --
it's yet another case of adapt or die.
If Denmark's news media and Turner Broadcasting can't keep up with technology
then they really ought to stop whining and just quit the business.
I for one can think of several very simple technology-based solutions to their
problems and I'm sure that anyone else with at least half a brain could do
What worries me is that so many large companies appear to be run by people
who would rather litigate or grizzle than innovate.
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