Welcome radio listeners and online article readers. In fact, welcome everyone not only to this program but also to the future. Technology is changing the way we live each and every day in very profound ways. It is also constantly rearranging the free-market with disruptive technologies causing challenges for status quo old companies, employment, and it’s difficult for the colleges and universities to keep up with this technology, as it seems they are always teaching and training people to do last year’s jobs.
Therefore, in the future these folks who have paid $100,000 in student loans may not even be working in those fields where they got their degrees. Statistically that has been the case, but it is going to be even more so in the future. Okay so, that’s what this program is about today on this 23rd day of October 2012 – how the future technologies will change everything.
The rules are simple; I talk, you listen. Then after 30 minutes I will open up the phone lines, or if you are reading this article online you may post a comment below. The first topic of the day is;
1.) Google’s Dominance and Disruption to the Newspaper Industry
Indeed, I believe it was Larry Page of Google who noted that the newspaper industry’s days are numbered. He stated that there won’t be newspapers in the future; that is printed words on paper being delivered to your doorstep. He was predicting the death of newspapers, and he did predict when it would happen, he said it could happen in a few years, or perhaps even a decade, but they wouldn’t exist in the future. Few could deny what he was saying, and when he made that common a few years ago the newspapers were laying off, merging, or simply going out of business.
Some newspapers have found that they can set up pay walls to make extra money, and perhaps the technology we talk about as tablet computers has at least help them in that regard where people can take their newspaper with them on the go, and read it online for a couple of dollars a month or week. This is worked well for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other well-known and well read newspapers. But it doesn’t seem to be working for all the local newspapers, although some who have a stranglehold on their local market are doing okay with pay walls as well.
Then again, why would anyone pay to view a newspaper online when they can go to Google News, surf the news and get information from all over the planet, perhaps even better information, or articles which have been downloaded from the Associated Press into regional newspapers. Often many of these stories we read on the other side of these pay walls is nothing more than regurgitated Associated Press news anyway. Thus, one should ask; why should we pay?
An article on ARS Technica titled; “Brazilian press to Google News: pay up or leave our content alone – Google says being told to pay is like, “taxing a taxi driver for taking tourists to eat.” By Megan Geuss on October 21, 2012 was curious. The same thing has been happening in France, and other places and it appears that they are trying to get Google tripped up in copyright law. You must realize that copyright law is different in Europe and perhaps in Brazil and other places. In the United States we have “Fair Use” case law on the books which seems to allow at least a paragraph and reference to a new story.
Google has been quite good at sending traffic based on this “fair use principle” with links to the actual article, that is if you want to read more. Sometimes people don’t, and perhaps this is what the Brazilian press is concerned about. People just read the first paragraph, and headline, and then they don’t need to read the newspaper, buy the newspaper, or pay to go beyond the pay wall of that organization online. These companies believe it is hurting sales, but in actuality Google is probably helping them much more than it is hurting them. Shouldn’t the newspapers all over the world get with the program and get into the 21st century?
The reality is that status quo industries die hard, and they fight to the end using their power to propel their political will onto the market. However, with no innovation everyone is left back in the Stone Age, and that means we may as well be reading our text on chiseled stone, or hard to get parchment paper. The printing press changed the world, and now it is changing again, it’s time to get up with the program, and enjoy the trillions of pages online from whatever new source they come from. If these Brazilian newspapers wish to limit what their readers read and be their sole source of information that is rather self-serving.