Thursday, November 13, 2008

Unlicensed Stories reel in Internet Readers

Have you ever read a New York Times article neither from their website nor from their actual newspaper? On average, browsing of ”unauthorized online copies” of articles is nearly 1.5 times larger than the readership of their own web sites, according to a study released. It’s estimated that the average web publisher could make more than $150,000 in additional revenue by selling ads alongside their unlicensed material. What is all comes down to is do you get in trouble for reading an online copyrighted article on a website not approved by the author?

Attributor Corp, the online copyright cop, was the first to flag the problem. Attributor is known for creating software and patrolling the internet for copyright violations. Attributor conducted the study over two months and reviewed over 30 billion web pages. The company currently is employed by the Associated Press, Reuters, and The Financial Times.

It’s estimated that for every 1,000 pages of unauthorized material advertisers will pay $1 to those sites who publish articles not owned by the copyright owner. The problem that these newspapers are facing is the fact that internet ads cost a fraction of what print ads cost.

No action has been taken by the newspaper companies yet. However this problem has cause double digit percentage losses in their revenue and has lead to thousands of employees losing their jobs. The idea of taking other peoples work, calling it your own, and making money off of it, is just not fair.

Attributor believes that if swift action is taken then they would be able to put about 1 million dollars in revenue back into the pockets of companies that deserve the money. Attributor has not yet released what the punishment will be for those who have violated the law. I personally think it is just plain wrong to profit from somebody else’s work. To know that because of your greedy instincts you put somebody else out of work is just not right.


HAYNE said...

I'm a little confused about the double digit percentage losses in newspaper company revenues and thousands of employees losing their jobs. How do the unauthorized online copies directly affect the actual paper's revenue? Do they measure those losses and make job cuts based on what could've been their revenue had the unlicensed stories never been published? That part is a little unclear to me.. and what sort of people are losing their jobs for this? Hasn't the whole unauthorized thing just been uncovered? I mean, I believe what the article says, I guess. I just don't understand how they came to these conclusions. Attributor Corp needs to clean up its act if they JUST noticed this; I doubt that the publishing of unauthorized copies of articles started when Attributor found out. Oh well.

ervolsen said...

"What is all comes down to is do you get in trouble for reading an online copyrighted article on a website not approved by the author?"

Thats insane - of course you shouldn't get in trouble for reading an online article not approved by the author! Thats never going to happen. If you search something on Google and it happens to go to a website with an unauthorized article, you get punished? Makes no sense.