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Author Topic: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'  (Read 3595 times)

Edvard

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I don't know whether to be scared or angry.
This had better go down in flames or I'm out of this Orwellian nightmare as soon as I get a passport to Belize...
Quote
The Federal Trade Commission says it wants to save journalism. I'm not sure who asked it to.

In a just-released "staff discussion draft" of "potential policy recommendations to support the reinvention of journalism," the agency only circles its wagons around old newspapers and their fading business models.


Read an abstract here:
http://blogs.reuters...sm-with-an-ipad-tax/
and the gory details here:
http://www.ftc.gov/o...staff-discussion.pdf

 :o >:( :o >:(

from the tinfoil hat department

Renegade

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010, 10:38:50 PM »
from the tinfoil hat department

This is the problem, it isn't tinfoil hat stuff. This is very, sickeningly, repulsively real!

Quote
Most dangerous of all, the FTC considers a doctrine of "proprietary facts," as if anyone should gain the right to restrict the flow of information just as the information is opening it up. Copyright law protects the presentation of news but no one owns facts -- and if anyone did, you could be forbidden from sharing them. How does that serve free speech?

Ummm... Please just shoot me now...
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Lashiec

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 09:20:26 AM »
Heh, never thought I read an article in a newspaper that would call themselves "old" and part of a "fading business model". Then again, we're talking about the newspaper that published legendary headlines like "Headless Bodies in Topless Bars", and looking around their webpage, calling the job they do "journalism" is stretching the concept of it quite a bit.

As I understand it, the FTC is only proposing ideas for discussion that were suggested by interested parties, not making any recommendations. Then again, I don't know why I am discussing something that is completely irrelevant to me :P

daddydave

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 11:48:28 AM »
Hopefully this is the phase where "all ideas are on the table" including flying a little person on a kite.

Reminds me of the Fairness Doctrine, so I think it is unlikely but not impossible, and a good thing to keep a watch on.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!

daddydave

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 11:51:01 AM »
Then again, we're talking about the newspaper that published legendary headlines like "Headless Bodies in Topless Bars",

At least they're doing it on purpose. I remember seeing in my hometown newspaper "Oldest Living Man Dead" and I was going to send someone a link, but online they had already changed the headline.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!

Darwin

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 12:20:21 PM »
Then again, we're talking about the newspaper that published legendary headlines like "Headless Bodies in Topless Bars", and looking around their webpage, calling the job they do "journalism" is stretching the concept of it quite a bit.

1001nypostheadlessbody.jpgThe 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Lashiec

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 02:25:54 PM »
Ooops, there wasn't any plural on the headline :-[

Darwin

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 05:18:47 PM »
Ooops, there wasn't any plural on the headline :-[

No worries! Entirely conicidentally, about three weeks ago I taught a class on Crime and the media and used that picture as an illustration of the maxim "If it bleeds it leads"! Never thouight I'd be able to put it to good use again so soon  ;D
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Edvard

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2010, 01:28:55 AM »
Regardless of the level of quality at said publication, I linked it because the writer was the first to call it an "iPad Tax".
The reality of the story is no less hideous for that.

Here, let me Google that for you. :P
There's lots more to read about it elsewhere... :o

Darwin

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2010, 08:25:07 AM »
Thanks for getting us back on track, Edvard (and sorry for hijacking your thread). I got so carried away about "the-headline-that-shall-go-unmentioned" that I didn't even read the original article to which you linke  :-[ I have done so now... totally agree with Renegade that this is the most worrisome implication of what the author is saying:

Quote
Most dangerous of all, the FTC considers a doctrine of "proprietary facts," as if anyone should gain the right to restrict the flow of information just as the information is opening it up. Copyright law protects the presentation of news but no one owns facts -- and if anyone did, you could be forbidden from sharing them. How does that serve free speech?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Edvard

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2010, 12:39:32 PM »
No hard feelings Darwin, I've hijacked my fair share as well. :-[

I downloaded and printed the paper and had a quick read-through on my lunch break.
The statement "proprietary facts" is stated so breezily it's as if it was already accepted doctrine that we the consumer just haven't quite gotten yet.
It appears to me (and I may be wrong) that the hullabaloo boils down to trying to figure a way to support newspapers and make money off the scrapers.
The claim is that news blogs are getting a "free ride" off of major news networks massive investment in human resources (journalists, AKA reporters) and media distribution (magazines, newspapers, television) which is no longer self-supporting due to the static nature of the product vs. the fluid nature of the internet (electronic advertising and "free riders"), which then requires government intervention (AKA bailout, takeover, etc.) to maintain their "necessary service" status.
I can kinda see their point, I mean most folks probably consider news media to be more of a public service than a market-driven commodity.
Besides, without all the major news networks doing their job, where would all the news blogs get their juicy bits?

But fer Pete's sake I have to ask, what's stopping these folks from investing in and leveraging the very technologies they are supposedly threatened by?
Especially given their already privileged position in society and commerce having more than enough presence, influence and resources necessary to do so, they've gotta be able to do better than simply colluding with the government to play 'tax the enemy', right?

Then again, the tinfoil hat society says the stated intent of the discussion is nothing more than a distraction, with the real goal being to create a State media conglomerate for the purpose of controlling dissemination of information.  :o
I'll take the liberty of suggesting that if anybody doesn't understand the, shall we say, sinister implications of what they are discussing (they make quite a point of "it's only a discussion, not official policy") please download a copy of '1984' by George Orwell and read it (it's public domain in Australia).
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 12:41:05 PM by Edvard »

Renegade

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2010, 09:50:42 PM »
Thanks for getting us back on track, Edvard (and sorry for hijacking your thread). I got so carried away about "the-headline-that-shall-go-unmentioned" that I didn't even read the original article to which you linke  :-[ I have done so now... totally agree with Renegade that this is the most worrisome implication of what the author is saying:

Quote
Most dangerous of all, the FTC considers a doctrine of "proprietary facts," as if anyone should gain the right to restrict the flow of information just as the information is opening it up. Copyright law protects the presentation of news but no one owns facts -- and if anyone did, you could be forbidden from sharing them. How does that serve free speech?

It's a slippery slope coming out of IP law. 100 years ago you still had copyright laws and patent laws, but if you talked about "owning" facts as in "Philip farted in the president's face but Terrence took the blame", you'd be laughed at for the sheer insanity of it.

However, consider that you can basically take a mathematical theorem, attach named significance to the variables in the equations for it, and get a patent on that... Now... You've just "patented" a well known mathematical formula.

It isn't a stretch any longer to "patent" or "copyright" or "own" facts.

I want to own 1+1=2, a^2+b^2=c^2, 1=1, (a+b) + c = a+b+c, modus ponens, modus tollens, you use your lungs to breathe air, you poop through your bum,  Europe is a continent, politicians are wankers, and a few other handy little "facts".

From there I will build my empire upon the work of others and enslave all of humanity. Because I AM Techo Destructo and I'm from beyond Venus, beyond Jupiter, and that's way past Uranus, buddy... :P
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higherstate

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2010, 06:57:14 AM »
A similar thing has been going on with the music industry for a while of course, there was the whole napster thing etc  The traditional music companies that are doing well are the ones that have shifted their model & embraced the internet (e.g. if it wasn't for youtube, susan boyle would have been a minor celeb in the UK). The ones that are suffering are the monoliths that won't/can't change their business quick enough.

On a personal note, I have to question whether newspapers et al even serve us anymore, they give such a huge distorted image of the world are they doing more harm than good?
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Renegade

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Re: The 'iPad tax', or 'how not to bailout journalism in America'
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2010, 07:54:14 AM »
On a personal note, I have to question whether newspapers et al even serve us anymore, they give such a huge distorted image of the world are they doing more harm than good?

When I got to Australia, I just about died at how absolutely pathetic the news papers and TV news is here. It's a joke.

From every news channel I've seen, I'd have to say the 2 best are Al Jazeera and the Chinese CNTV news. The reporting is much more balanced than drivel like CNN. I was surprised, so I fully expect a few people here will be as well. But seriously, if you can get those channels, watch them. You will get a much better perspective on the world than the same 5 stories replayed for a week that you get on CNN. (They also beat the BBC by miles, and the BBC even makes CNN look like rotting vegetables.)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker