Make It Stop

The willful denial of reality burns us, precious:

Expanding copyright law to bar online access to copyrighted materials
without the copyright holder’s consent, or to bar linking to or
paraphrasing copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s
consent, might be necessary to keep free riding on content financed by
online newspapers from so impairing the incentive to create costly
news-gathering operations that news services like Reuters and the
Associated Press would become the only professional, nongovernmental
sources of news and opinion.

The Romenesko commenters have at him:

And one way to reduce CO2 emissions…
Posted by
Thomas Lilleston
6/29/2009 12:17:14 PM

…is to stop breathing, and that’ll probably work about as well as the No-Link Theory.

However, the dumbest part of the piece isn’t actually the one about which most people are doing the bitching:

Newspaper ad revenues fell by almost 8 percent in 2007, a surprising
drop in a non-recession year (the current economic downturn began in
the late fall of that year), and by almost 23 percent the following
year, and accelerated this year. In the first quarter of 2009 newspaper
ad revenues fell 30 percent from their level in the first quarter of
2008. This fall in revenue, amplified by drops in print circulation
(about 5 percent last year, and running at 7 percent this year–and
readership is declining in all age groups, not just the young), have
precipitated bankruptcies of major newspaper companies and, more
important, the disappearance of a number of newspapers, including major
ones, such as theRocky Mountain News and theSeattle Post-Intelligencer.
Falling revenues have led to layoffs of some 20,000 employees of the
remaining newspapers. Print journalism has come to be regarded as a
dying profession. Online viewership and revenues have grown but not
nearly enough to offset the decline in ad revenues. Even the most
prestigious newspapers, such as theNew York Times, theWall Street Journal, theWashington Post, andUSA Today, have experienced staggering losses.

You know what someone writing one of these interminableoh God oh God we’re all gonna die pieces has yet to tell me? If “less money than we had before” and “not enough money to live on” are the same damn thing. Every time I ask this question I get people telling me I’m oversimplifying the situation and that’s exactly my point. I am oversimplifying the situation. I’m doing it on purpose. Is there enough money in any given big-city newspaper today to fund the newsgathering operations we are told are so critical to the survival of life as we know it?

My educated guess based on reading I kid you not everything on the planet about this for the past five years ishell yeah, and there’d be plenty left over, too. And if that’s the case, then this is no longer an advertising crisis or a free vs. paid content crisis or ayou kids suck crisis. Then this is a WHERE THE HELL IS ALL THE MONEY crisis, and I think we might need to hold another congressional hearing and instead of letting David Simon bitch about HuffPo, we could subpoena Dennis FitzSimons.

div class=”blockquote” style=”margin-left: 40px;”>News, as well the other information found in newspapers, is
available online for nothing, including at the websites of the
newspapers themselves, who thus are giving away content. The fact that
online viewing is rising as print circulation is falling indicates a
shift of consumers from the paid to the free medium.

Not necessarily. It could also be that through nefarious means, like LINKS, people are finding your content and thus your numbers are increasing.