So some fellas named Marburger think that the way to save newspapers from the profit-killing aggregators is to change the copyright laws so that:
- Aggregators would reimburse newspapers for ad revenues associated with their news reports.
- Injunctions would bar aggregators' profiting from newspapers' content for the first 24 hours after stories are posted.
This is being reported on the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s online site, Cleveland.com. Perhaps they don’t go far enough. Why not force all the barber shops, beauty parlors, coffee shops, libraries, etc…. that make newspapers available for their customers, collect a fee from any customer who picks up the paper? Do the same for every medical waiting room where magazines are kept. Do the same for any office where the periodicals are brought in and circulated. Yeah, sure the paper or magazine is paid for once (or for however many copies they have lying around), but why should that stop them from collecting again? The customers are reading the material are they not? C’mon take a cue from the music biz and charge every time an article is read.
Of course I’m being facetious with the above. This entire argument is starting to become a parody of itself as it swirls around and around, and here’s an interesting kick. You won’t find a newspaper in the country who will break it down and give you an analysis of the facts.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Write something we’re interested in reading and maybe we’ll buy the papers. I know this is unscientific, but it is my observation, and I think there is some truth in it somewhere. It used to be (7, 8, 9 years ago) that when I made my morning stop at the local convenience store on the way to work that about the same number of newspapers were always available each morning. That started changing and over the last two years or so not only is the number of papers available higher on average, but more to the point, when a story of local interest appears on the front page (instead of wire service stories) you’ll see that number decline drastically. Again, unscientific, but I think telling.