January 3, 2013 Leave a comment
It’s a fact of life that legacy industries are often killed off by newer industries spawned by new inventions, so the generally worsening situation of the newspaper industry should come as no surprise as more news moves online.
What does surprise me is that some in the industry seemed determined to speed up the process and hasten the deaths of their companies. I’ve just read that the National Newspapers of Ireland has adopted a new licensing scheme where they expect websites to pay to link to one of their members.
I’m not kidding. They’ve been sending out notices, demanding payment:
The Newspaper Industry (all these newspapers) had its agent write out demanding money. They wrote to Women’s Aid, (amongst others) who became our clients when they received letters, emails and phone calls asserting that they needed to buy a licence because they had linked to articles in newspapers carrying positive stories about their fundraising efforts.
Note that this is not paying for an excerpt, which is not that unreasonable, or some punitive measure for the copying of an entire article. No, the NNI wants to charge for links like this, this, or this.