This is a tricky story for me but one I’m really interested in learning a lot more about. So far I’ve really only heard about it from Ben and he has a very clear opinion on it and I’m worried I’m a little biased.
His perspective is that the media isn’t covering how bad this deal really is because so many of them still feel cheated by these tech companies. They think they are owed this money, but are they?
Google in particular isn’t as concerned about the money as they are about breaking their product. Australia is trying to require Google to notify these news companies of any algorithmic changes in advance, but how can they realistically do that. Google’s algorithms are constantly changing and on top of that if anyone knew specifics how it was changing they could game the system in a completely unfair way.
Plus all that information would never stay private so that means everyone would get this information starting an SEO arms race that would enevitably benefit the largest companies over the smallest ones.
I know these bills aren’t really about innovation in the media but I don’t know that everyone is fully aware about how much more this will benefit Rupert Murdock in particular.
Then again maybe they are aware. Recently it came out that Google had made a big payment to news Corp and now they will be exempt from this law, ugh. Maybe we all just need to call this what it is, a payoff to news Corp. and while the media as a whole isn’t doing well and does need additional support, news Corp itself isn’t the one who is struggling.
I really like the idea of just making a new tax on tech companies that builds a media fund. It would be difficult to structure that fairly too but at least you could try and spread some of the money to smaller players. And it would be more predictable for the tech companies. Everyone wins.