Monday, December 07, 2009

Its going to be hard for the NLA to make its tax stick

As always Stephen Waddington is on the ball with industry news.

He is writing about the NLA seeking to charge people who make a living out of collating media coverage online by selling their researches to customers.

I commented on his post that I thought that this might be a bit difficult for the publishers.

Now that we have the semantic web red in tooth and claw, it is very hard to disguise who contributes to the outputs of journalists.

All the sentient conversation leading up to a stunning original take on any subject by a journalist can be found.

This means we see the extent of original content and the extent of information, ideas and concepts that originate from elsewhere.

Sure, one wants to see original or creative content recognised and getting its just reward. But the heavy size 11's of the NLA is not the way to go.

There are many, many ways to generate value from original or new, newsworthy content. The present models we are being offered are full of holes.

This is an example I sent to Stephen: I went to this page in The Times Analysed it to get the semantic concepts Looked for those concepts in and found that loads of other people and publication wrote this story in similar terms long before The Times I asked in Stephen's blog:

Who, then is going to set up the counter organisation to the NLA to get their money back from newspapers who borrow/plagiarise content from the online community?
When The Times vanishes behind its firewall will this mean that it will pay all the other sites for the news it plagiarises from them as well as suing all the sites that use the same story after they publish offline or behind the firewall?
Of course, we are using software that is not optimised for this purpose but does show what is possible. I even suggested that there could be people out there who might take affairs in their own hands. I wondered who will write the application that automatically identified the url's of same/similar content on a Google sidewiki to let everyone see where the media stories really come from? Such an application, I contend, will mean that everyone will see, this or that press story really came from a press release/blog/wiki etc...
I guess that the really brave, creative and future publishing successes will be the aggregator (and I declare an interest). But to see a publication like the Telegraph assembling news in real time and considered content from the greatest writers, creative thinkers and others regardless of time constraints being much more successful that firewalled plagiarists.

The value may well then not come from content but from the delivery channel. But that is another story.