Yesterday I posted about the insanity in Spain, in which the newspapers first tried to extort Google into paying for giving them free traffic, then managed to lobby the Government to impose a law that demanded it, which cause Google to shut down Google News in Spain.
Here is my post from yesterday:http://www.baekdal.com/opinion/google-news-out-of-spain-none-shall-pass
Now, the same publishers are now calling for "the intervention of the Spanish and EU authorities, and the competition authorities to effectively protect the rights of citizens and companies"
to prevent Google from closing Google News, thus forcing them to keep linking the newspapers (which they now have to pay for).http://www.abc.es/medios/20141211/abci-aede-editores-google-news-201412112017.html
This is just pathetic, and it makes me barking mad.
Let me just add two more reasons why this is crazy.
First of all, can you imagine if the tables were turned? Can you imagine if an industry group went out to the EU and demanded that newspapers had to cover the press releases published by another industry
, no matter what. And not only that, the newspapers would also have to pay for them.
Because that is what is going on here. In the past, newspapers were the absolute gatekeepers to information. But nobody ever demanded that a newspaper had to cover a story, nor pay the brand they were covering.
The press would have gone into a fit if anyone tried to demand how the newspaper was formed or what it contained. They would have shouted that it was an intolerable intrusion into the freedom of the press. But this is what they are doing to Google (and the internet).
How dare any newspaper demand what someone else's site must include? How dare they demand the editorial profile and decisions of others?
You can't have a one-way version of the freedom of the press.
Secondly, it should not be Google who pays the newspapers for linking to them, the newspapers should be paying Google for giving them millions of free pageviews every single month.
This, in fact, is exactly how brands think about Google. If a brand wants to get more exposure from Google, they will pay Google to place a more prominent link at the top of the search page. This is what is known as a search ad.
Yep, brands are perfectly happy paying Google for linking to them.
On that note. If a newspaper believes that Google should be paying when they link to one of their stories, why should the newspaper then not also be paying a brand when they use snippets from a press release?
If Google has to pay for using snippets, why should newspapers then not also be paying for using snippets?
Last month, for instance, seven newspapers used snippets from my site. Did they pay me for that? No, of course not. Because, as they say, they are giving me free exposure, despite the fact that they get most of the traffic. Just like with Google News.
And I'm perfectly fine with that, because I know that having other people talk about my articles helps me grow. In fact, I encourage people to quote and link to my articles. It's the best thing in the world.
Of course, what I talk about here is linking, sharing, and quoting.
I’m not talking about republishing, in which a newspaper simply copy/paste the entire article or paraphrase it (which is not okay and a violation of my copyright, unless I give them permission to do so).
This is a simple concept that a lot newspapers just don’t understand. Linking is great, republishing is not ...and there is a big difference between the two.
We see this all the time. Many newspapers forget to link to the stories they use, but very often republish so much of the information that there is no reason to look up the original.
I’m not saying Google is perfect in any way. They are not. Personally, I’m happy with the notion of Google News shutting down. I see Google News as an industry distorting mechanism in which old media is getting favorable (and unearned) exposure that should have gone to someone else.
For instance, if a science blogger writes about something important, and that story is later reported by a newspaper, Google News will direct people to the newspaper instead of the science blogger who actually did all the work.
It’s the same with my site. You will never be able to find any of my articles on Google News, because I’m not one of the sites they have decided to include.
I find that to be hugely problematic, so I would prefer a world where we didn’t have Google News at all.
I also don’t like Google’s ‘knowledge search’, in which they will copy/paste guides taken from websites, and sometimes not even link back to where they got it from (when they claim the information is ‘public knowledge’).
I don’t like that because, not only is that completely unfair to those who made the information available to the public in the first place, but because that’s too much like how many newspapers are ‘reporting’ stories.
I will always favor the actual creators because, in a connected world, those are the ones we should be connected with, and not the middlemen.
Note: I wrote more about that here: You Have to Be The Creator http://www.baekdal.com/insights/you-have-to-be-the-creator/
But when it comes the Newspapers, EU, Spain and Google, I’m 100% on the side of Google, because the arguments these newspaper associations make are about things that they never themselves would accept if the tables were turned.
It’s very simple.
If a newspaper believes Google (or others) should pay for links or snippets to its article, then that newspaper should also pay when they are using information obtained from others in their own articles (which accounts for 98% of all news articles).
And if a newspaper believes that Google should be forced to link to their content, then other people should also be allowed to demand when and how a newspaper reports a story.
Either the rules apply to all, or they don’t apply at all. You can’t have rules that only apply to others.