Writers and book publishers have already had plenty of reason to loathe Google given the company’s ongoing efforts to scan and make available online every book it can get its hands on…nevermind U.S. Copyright Law. The public at large has turned a blind and uneducated eye on the whole debacle, which is one big step in the direction of denying authors and publishers the right to earn money from their intellectual property.
While there still isn’t any good news on the book front (unless you think settling for $60 for Google to have its way with your copyright forever and ever is a good thing), perhaps media mogul Rupert Murdoch will finally draw some attention to Google’s blatant disrespect for intellectual property. Murdoch is cracking down on news aggregators like Google that basically borrow news content from other sites and post it on their own. Beginning this summer, Murdoch plans to put the online content of his major media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, behind a paywall, something he is urging fellow media industry magnates to do, too. You can read more about Murdoch’s stance in a recent article in The Guardian.
The problem is Murdoch is pushing 80, and there are few like him left in the industry who are willing and financially able to stand up not just for Copyright law but for the value of well-researched and well-written content by experienced professionals. Unfortunately, in an age where anyone with an Internet connection can put content out there as “news,” the younger generation may have very little experience understanding the difference between truth and tabloid. And why pay for the former when the latter is free?