Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the harbors-and-takedowns dept

This week, when a law professor wrote a ridiculous attack on Section 230 of the CDA, it garnered a lot of backlash — and our most insightful comment of the week. First place goes to TasMot, who headed over to site where the piece was published and hoped to participate:

Since the author and readers of the Boston University Law Review may not also be readers of TechDirt, I went to their website to post a comment so that they could react to your rebuttal of the author's claims. Funny, no comments allowed. It appears that the Law Review, you know, those lawyer types, don't want to deal with the pesky 1st Amendment problems of dealing with comments. They just want to post random opinions of lawyers, you know the ones that support the laws of the land in court. If they had some experience with comments, maybe they would have their own push back against her very one sided fact free article.

In second place, we've got a response to the MPAAs recent "victory" in shutting down some movie sharing sites. That One Guy reminded everyone of the real motivations:

It's never been about the money. It's about the competition and control. Could they adapt, learn from sites and services like the ones listed and offer something similar? Sure, but that would require them to offer their movies on the terms that the public wants, rather than the terms they're so used to dictating. If people with essentially zero funding can throw together wildly popular services for movies, Hollywood, with it's billions, could easily craft a superior service, and make an absolute killing doing so. And if all they cared about what the money, you can be sure that they would. So why haven't they? Because doing so would require them to give up the control that they cherish, even more so than the money they love so much. No more geo-blocking or release windows, no more DRM infections locking down movies to be watched only on certain devices and in certain ways, no more lucrative licensing deals for 'exclusive access'. If they could decimate piracy rates such that the overwhelming majority of people were willing to sign up for the 'official' offering(and make no mistake, done right a service like that absolutely would, like Netflix on steroids) then there would be no justification for restrictive laws to 'protect' them, no massive burdens on everyone else to play unpaid copyright-cop. That services like Popcorn Time exist shows what the *AA's could do, but chose not to, so of course they do everything they can to kill them off. It's easy to convince people that bread and water is a great meal if that's all they know, but after they've experienced what real food tastes like, selling that bread and water becomes a lot more difficult.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we head back to our response to the attack on the CDA, since that garnered a lot of our most insightful comments this week. First, after one commenter suggested that getting rid of Section 230 would be fine because sites could just moderate their comments, cpt kangarooski explained why this is completely backwards with a brief history lesson about the CDA:

Nope! Without section 230, the safe road is to not allow users to post anything at all; the second best choice is not to edit it at all. The last thing anyone would do would be to moderate comments; that would be a litigation minefield.

Section 230 was enacted in order to encourage ISPs and sites to engage in moderation. Under the pre-CDA rules, the traditional approach for this sort of litigation applied online was that of newspapers and other periodicals, in which anything that appears is the responsibility of the publisher as well as the actual author. Some courts were looking at a model that treated online services more like a piece of equipment; the owner of a xerox machine will not be liable for libelous matter that is copied using the machine, at least provided that the owner doesn't know what's going on.

This led Congress to pass section 230 as part of the Communications Decency Act, which was aimed at encouraging, empowering, and requiring the removal of a lot of smut online. Without it, an ISP that dared to allow user posting would never edit anything since it would guarantee total liability; the CDA was meant to protect ISPs from that liability so that they would feel safe to engage in censorship.

Turns out, much of the CDA was unconstitutional and ISPs are lazy and don't want to spend money censoring things if they can avoid it. So while there were a lot of protests against the CDA (blacking out pages and posting blue ribbon gifs) it turned out to be a massive reversal that has been quite good for free speech online.

tl;dr -- The troll has it completely backwards -- no one would ever moderate comments without the protection of the CDA

Next, we've got Tice with a J responding specifically to the idea that Section 230 safe harbors should be replaced with a DMCA-like notice-and-takedown model:

Here's the thing about using the DMCA model for anything besides copyright: it would remove all the sanity checks still contained within the DMCA.

As long as the notice-and-takedown system is confined to copyright, anyone wanting to take something down has to connect the targeted information to some specific copyrighted information. This isn't a very good sanity check, hence all the abuses of the DMCA, but it ensures that, at least some of the time, takedowns have to be justified by their connection to some very specific piece of information.

But what if you apply this to true threats? Or libel claims? Or invasions of privacy? Or the nebulous category of "hate speech"? The limit is gone. "Take down this information because it looks too much like that information" has been replaced with "take down this information because it hurts my feelings". The monster has broken free of its last chain, and is now set to devour everything. The new ContentID would have to programmed to destroy all content, just in case.

Of course, that wouldn't really happen. What would happen, after the huge initial surge of takedowns, is that the major players - the ones with money and connection - would have unchecked power to destroy anything they didn't like. Think of the recent showdown between Mother Jones and VanderSloot, but imagine Mother Jones being completely censored during the three years of litigation. Could Mother Jones even survive three years of silence? I think not.

I suspect that this is what Ann Bartow wants. And maybe Arthur Chu wants it, too.

Over on the funny side, we start out on our post about the latest turn in the Redskins trademark battle, which plastered a variety of vulgar trademarks across the web this week. But one anonymous coward was concerned that the lines had been crossed somewhere:

I think you are mistaken

Those weren't approved applications, they were mistakenly leaked NSA program codenames.

In second place, we've got a response to a guest post this week which was admittedly a little longer than the average Techdirt post. 024601 couldn't resist an amusing comment to that effect:

Is there a long form version of this article available?

For editor's choice on the funny side, we loop back to our post about the MPAA, where DannyB gave their ongoing war the epic overture it deserves:

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away . . .

There was a single music sharing program called Napster.

Once that was shut down, no other successors* emerged to share music, and then eventually also movies.

* the long list of successors you might be thinking of are a figment of your imagination. Hollywood Accounting whittles that number of successors down to zero.

Finally, after the "Copyright Arbitration Board of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office" attempted to define "snippets" strictly as seven words or less, ChurchHatesTucker found the perfect way to demonstrate how ludicrously short that is:

The Copyright Arbitration Board of the

Sorry, that's all I can afford.

That's all for this week, folks!

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2015 @ 7:15pm

    Copyright Arbitration Board of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office

    They didn't attempt a thing. They DID make 7 words the maximum number of words a quote from an article can have. Get a German proxy and try Google news! But don't bother trying to decode a headline and click the one with more than 7 words. Because those sites got that Google sends them money and doesn't steal from them

    Btw. you think this is all the crazy? How about making each hyperlink a potential copyright infringement? Think I'm kidding? Guess again!

    https://juliareda.eu/2015/11/ancillary-copyright-2-0-the-european-commission-is-preparing-a-fr ontal-attack-on-the-hyperlink/

    So in the future anyone from the EU has to first send a letter to the person who published a Youtube video to find out who holds all the copyrights then send letters to each of those holding a copyright (video clips, music,... other stuff) to get an OK before posting the link to a forum like this one.
    Isn't the future a great thing? So much freedom and great things to look forward too! I'd like to post a video to underline my point but I guess it will take 1-2 months plus some lawyers to figure out if all copyright claims are covered so.... yeah, just imagine a great inspirational video about a utopian future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 8 Nov 2015 @ 8:58pm

    Blindness, or money-induced blindness

    Well that's handy. Now anyone in Germany can know immediately which news groups in the country are short sighted, greed fools, and which ones are actually worth bothering with.

    As for the proposal, either the ones pushing that crap(again) are complete idiots, utterly incapable of seeing what the sort of cash-grab has resulted in in the past, or they are being paid very well to act like it. Personally I'm guessing a little bit of both. The publishers just can't reign in their greed, they see the money Google has and they absolutely have to make a grab for 'their' share, and if the internet gets royally screwed in the process, too bad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2015 @ 10:55pm

    Re: Copyright Arbitration Board of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office

    From your link

    "Not the collateral damage done to Spain’s IT-economy, where the ancillary copyright law forbid granting free licences, making the collection of newspaper articles by non-profit organizations illegal even when publishers would like to support it; and forcing Google to completely shut off it’s news service in Spain due to lack of profitability."

    And this is an example of the true IP extremist agenda. They don't care at all about the wishes of the artist, even if the artist wishes to release their work for free that's not acceptable to them because it competes with the distributor. IP laws are and have almost always been only about the distributor. Not the public, not the artist, and not the quality of work. They don't like Google and Megaupload for the same reason they don't like creative commons license agreements. It competes with the distributor.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2015 @ 10:57pm

    Re: Re: Copyright Arbitration Board of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office

    err ... of the IP extremist true agenda *

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Whatever (profile), 8 Nov 2015 @ 11:53pm

    Re: Re: Copyright Arbitration Board of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office

    It also shows how much Google has no interest in allowing content to be defined as having any real value. Google could have easily set up a net zero system, where they pay news partners for news in return for the partner "buying" a logo or mention on the news pages. Making those two costs exactly the same would have cleared any legal hurdle and would have allowed Google to continue offering Google news in Spain.

    However, that move would require them to admit openly that content has value. They don't want to do that. They don't want to establish that content in and of itself has any real value, it only has value when found on Google, and Google should get first crack at extracting value through various methods to get people to pages and content types that page Google handsomely.

    It's a basic premise of the Web 3.0 economy: Don't admit content has any value. It's one of the reasons why Facebook banned that linking site, because it was essentially assigning value to content on Facebook, in a manner that FB could not control and could not profit from. It was teaching the inmates how to game the system and how to profit from it. That wouldn't be profitable for Facebook, so boom - ban hammer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 12:28am

    Re: Copyright Arbitration Board of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office

    I'd like to post a video to underline my point but I guess it will take 1-2 months plus some lawyers to figure out if all copyright claims are covered so?

    It would have taken time to get permission to link to the Guardian article as well. Just think of the impediment that places on people discussing proposed laws etc.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Nov 2015 @ 12:50am

    Don't like the terms? Don't use the service

    I love how you act as though it was Google that was the entitled one, that it was Google that was refusing to see the value of what the other side brought to the table. It wasn't, it was the short sighted, greedy newspapers that couldn't help themselves, and ended up shooting themselves in the collective foot.

    Google was sending them plenty of traffic, but that just wasn't enough for them, oh no. They demanded to be paid for the traffic they were being sent, as though they weren't already benefiting from the previously symbiotic relationship they had with Google, where Google benefited by having people use their service, and the newspapers benefited by being sent traffic from Google's service.

    Making those two costs exactly the same would have cleared any legal hurdle and would have allowed Google to continue offering Google news in Spain.

    So they should have jumped through hundreds, if not thousands of hoops, having to keep a growing database of which links have paid and which haven't, which have been paid and which haven't, just to break even(not counting of course the costs involved in setting up and maintaining such a system)?

    How about 'No'?

    The Spanish government made it too legally problematic to operate in the country, and as a result Google news in Spain shut down entirely. Congrats, the greedy idiots got exactly what they claimed to want, I'm sure they were thrilled with their 'victory'.

    (Oh, right, they weren't. In fact, it took all of one day after their 'victory' before they were whining about what Google had done in response and begging the government to do something to fix the problem they had created with their greed.)

    It's a basic premise of the Web 3.0 economy: Don't admit content has any value.

    And again you make a statement without once realizing how easy it is to use it against your own argument.

    Content may have value, but that value drops like a rock if no-one can find it, which is why when Google has given the various publishers what they claim to want, 'no linking/snippets without paying', and refused to pay, choosing to do without snippets and/or links, without fail they publishers come crawling back, begging to be re-listed, if they don't go to court and try and force Google to both list them and pay for the 'privilege' of doing so.

    They believed that only their content had value, and Google was just 'leeching' from them, without once realizing and/or admitting that they got just as much from Google as Google got from them, meaning both content and service were equally valuable.

    They want to have their cake and eat it too, gaining the benefits everyone knows they get from being listed in Google's search/news results, and being paid for it. If they really think that their content is so valuable, that Google provides no benefit to them, then they are welcome to make what I have heard is a tiny little change to their site code which will cause Google's services to not list it, allowing them to bask in all the traffic they don't get.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 1:13am

    Re: Don't like the terms? Don't use the service

    The funniest part of it all? For all the shouting that copyright holders love to do (if you don't like our terms, if you don't live in the country where we choose to release our product, it's your job to move), the moment Google follows what they ask for they all start losing their shit.

    Copyright fanatics have always lived by an expectation of having the deck stacked in their favor. Fucked if you do, fucked if you don't. They not only want you to pay them to fuck you, they want you to pay them to NOT fuck you. If Google and other tech provided no desirable service or function they wouldn't kick up this much of a shitfit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Nov 2015 @ 1:56am

    Re: Re: Don't like the terms? Don't use the service

    Yeah, that was pretty much exactly the reason for the subject line I chose. I can't count how many times I've seen variations on 'If you don't like the terms for the song/movie/whatever, do without'.

    Spain proposed a Google-tax, Google didn't like the terms, and so they 'did without'. And now all of a sudden 'doing without' is unacceptable, and they should have bent over backwards to comply with the terms presented to them.

    Nope, if one group is going to push the idea of 'Our way or do without', they don't get to complain when the other group, or in this case company, does without.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Copyright Arbitration Board of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office

    Amazing, the more you post the more you reveal yourself as the self serving psychopath you really are.

    Then IP extremists try to claim that IP critics are somehow in favor of slavery. But IP extremists are the ones that want to force service providers to both work freely for IP holders (ie: force them to list their content) and to pay them for it at the same time. If the service provider chooses not to list their content that's not acceptable and the service provider is at fault. No, the service provider has to be a good little slave and list their content for free and they have to pay the IP holders for it too. The IP holders just want everything for free because they expect everyone to be their slaves and work for them for free and to even pay them to work for them. They want to be paid by Google to have Google advertise their for them content.

    Well, I guess it's not free because they are buying politicians and regulators and hence paying for these laws and for the privilege of subverting the democratic process to get what they want. They merely expect a return on their investment.

    IP defenders are so deluded to even suggest that IP critics are the ones in favor of slavery. Perhaps one of the very reasons I'm against overly aggressive IP laws is exactly because I am against slavery.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright Arbitration Board of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office

    to advertise their content for them *

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Whatever (profile), 9 Nov 2015 @ 11:51am

    Re: Don't like the terms? Don't use the service

    "I love how you act as though it was Google that was the entitled one, that it was Google that was refusing to see the value of what the other side brought to the table. It wasn't, it was the short sighted, greedy newspapers that couldn't help themselves, and ended up shooting themselves in the collective foot. "

    Here's the rub: What is Google News without content? It's a blank page. Google doesn't produce content, they use content from others as a method by which to build their brand and retain people on their websites long, to use their services, and to gain ad revenue. It works very well, Newspaper and media are dying left and right and Google is making billions.

    Yet, Google without other people's content is, in the end, just and empty space.

    My point is two-fold: Google could easily make deals with media partners for a "same price" exchange that would net both sides nothing, except that it would make providing news an opt in rather than "block them bots out" system.

    Google's choice, which is to walk away from the situation, indicates that they were unwilling to enter into any deal with might infer any value to content - yet as already established their site without the content would be worthless. Google is a value added provider, but it starts with something of value and adds value to it. Google is not going to hire people to write news articles all day, they are not a content creation company.

    " If they really think that their content is so valuable, that Google provides no benefit to them, then they are welcome to make what I have heard is a tiny little change to their site code which will cause Google's services to not list it, allowing them to bask in all the traffic they don't get."

    Two things: Why should they not be available in the normal listings like other companies and websites? The real issue is that Google marks their content as "special" and repackages and reformats it as a news portal site. Why does Google treat it differently? Why should the news sites be obligated to opt out of everything just to avoid being slammed into a news site they don't want to be part of?

    Remember something too: bad traffic isn't any better than no traffic. In a world where advertisers are more and more often paying by action rather than paying per view, getting a million people in the door isn't always the best way to make money if those people aren't going to spend. The online model entirely changes the advertiser / newspaper relationship, in a manner where merely aggregating large numbers of readers isn't any assurance of solid income.

    Google's way or no way is the sort of arrogant answer that make Facebook's Zuck look like a flexible guy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Don't like the terms? Don't use the service

    "Why should the news sites be obligated to opt out of everything just to avoid being slammed into a news site they don't want to be part of?"

    Do you really think that changing the nature of robots.txt to an opt in request vs an opt out request will change the situation at all? Sites and web development tools will simply include an opt-in robots.txt file by default because they know everyone wants to opt in. If not everyone will choose the option to opt into search engines. This is not the issue and to argue that something so minor is going to make a difference shows how much you lack a good argument. Why do you suppose Spain attempted to make it illegal to release content under a CC license, they are effectively trying to make it illegal to 'opt in' because IP extremists lobbied for that provision because they know if it's not included everyone will simply opt in and create more competition for them.

    If IP is to exist it should be opt in (you should be required to request and register your copy protections). If someone wanting IP privileges it too lazy to make the request required to receive those privileges then they don't deserve those privileges. How hard is it to include something in a robots.txt file or to include a generic license opting someone in stating your intent. IP extremists are so lazy, they want these free privileges and they don't want to input any work at all in order to receive them instead opting to inconvenience everyone else for the unowed privileges that they demand.

    But, as everyone knows, that's not even the issue. The reason why IP extremists have a vendetta against creative commons is because they don't want anyone to be able to opt out because opting out of IP is approximately just as easy as opting in and a lot of people, given the choice, will simply opt out which creates competition for IP extremists. Instead of addressing this point you avoid it and change the subject.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't like the terms? Don't use the service

    (to continue) Are you really arguing that making being in a google search engine opt in is going to change anything? Do you really think that a web developer writing a website won't be able to find the opt-in check box and spend less than the one minute or so required to check it to do so if they wanted to opt in?

    Are you seriously arguing that the issue here is that websites must opt out of a search engine and those developing the websites either can't figure out how to opt out or that the inconvenience of including something so small in a robots.txt file (or checking a checkbox in a web development tool) is enough to get most web developers to decide not to opt out? Is that really what Whatever here is reduced arguing? He really doesn't see that the reason IP extremists don't like things like creative commons licenses is because it's easy enough for people to figure out how to use and they don't want the competition that such licenses bring?

    What a pathetic argument Whatever, even for you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    Whatever (profile), 9 Nov 2015 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't like the terms? Don't use the service

    "Do you really think that changing the nature of robots.txt to an opt in request vs an opt out request will change the situation at all? "

    You miss the point. Why should a news site have to turn off ALL search engine listing to avoid being part of the news site? It's not a question of opt in or opt out, Google news should be treated different from Google the search engine, such that a news site can appear in the search listings without being part of "Google News" site. Google right now says "all or nothing" and that is a problem. It means that in a way they hold sites for ransom - if you want to be in search results, you have to let us use your stuff in our news aggregation scheme as well.

    "IP extremists are so lazy,"

    You are being intellectually lazy, assuming I am saying something when I am not. Google news aggregation should be opt in (in Spain) to comply with the law. Being in the search results shouldn't require that they also accept being part of something else.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    Whatever (profile), 9 Nov 2015 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright Arbitration Board of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office

    "Amazing, the more you post the more you reveal yourself as the self serving psychopath you really are."

    Not sure why the site operators here allow and tolerate personal attacks. Shoo troll!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't like the terms? Don't use the service

    Thanks for clarifying.

    Fair enough. While I don't think the law should require anything of Google in this regard I think that as a business model and as a gesture of good will Google could optionally consider the option of allowing sites to choose which of the two they wish to be listed on.

    One of the issues with this is that there are multiple search engines and Google shouldn't, uniformly, determine how they want this to be implemented. This could become very confusing if multiple different search engines require different methods of opting into one and out of the other. Perhaps Google could discuss a standard method (ie: a robots.txt entry or something) that would indicate that a site wants to be in a web search page and not a news search page.

    I would still consider a site that chooses one but not the other to be rather shady though but at least Google can consider going well above and beyond what I think should be required of them even if it means losing some revenue in the process.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright Arbitration Board of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office

    Said the guy looking for imaginary PaulTs under his bed and feeds those imaginary PaulTs with insults.

    You want the site to allow your personal attacks, it will allow everyone else's. Kinda the point of the free speech you use and hate so much.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Nov 2015 @ 8:43pm

    Re: Re: Don't like the terms? Don't use the service

    It works very well, Newspaper and media are dying left and right and Google is making billions.

    ... which has nothing to do with Google. Newspapers are dying left and right because they still think it's the same today as it was decades ago. When you're the only source of news, then people have to come to you. That's no longer the case. If they want to stick around, then they have to adapt and give people reasons to come to them. Google has nothing to do with their failure to adapt to the changing market.

    Yet, Google without other people's content is, in the end, just and empty space.

    And what are the news sites without Google? A lot emptier apparently, as the traffic the receive plummets as soon as Google stops offering service or removes them from it.

    As I have noted before, several times, when the news sites weren't being greedy it was a symbiotic relationship. Google profited from people using it's services, the newspapers profited from being listed on the service. Both sides benefited, so enough with the rubbish idea that Google was the only one gaining something from the relationship.

    My point is two-fold: Google could easily make deals with media partners for a "same price" exchange that would net both sides nothing, except that it would make providing news an opt in rather than "block them bots out" system.

    And again, you want them to jump through likely thousands of hoops just to continue offering service in the country. Far from being easy, that would take significant effort, just to break even on a service that they weren't making money off of(Google news in spain didn't include ads).

    The terms offered by Google were simple: Google lists the content and gets people to use their service, the listed sites gain the benefits of increased traffic from those using Google's service.

    The spanish newspapers didn't like the terms and changed them, trying to force Google to pay them for the increased traffic it was sending them. Google didn't care for the terms the spanish government 'offered' and did without.

    As the saying goes, 'Don't like the terms, do without'. Google didn't like the terms, so they did without.

    In a world where advertisers are more and more often paying by action rather than paying per view, getting a million people in the door isn't always the best way to make money if those people aren't going to spend.

    Were that true, then the previous times this sort of thing happened, when Google dropped a newspaper from their service and the traffic dropped as a result they should have been cheering. Think of how much less 'bad traffic' they were getting, how great was that?

    It wasn't, they immediately begged to be re-listed, because they at least knew that less traffic was a bad thing. 100 people who visit your site, with only 10 of them clicking on an ad and giving you revenue is a lot better than 10 people visiting your site and only 1 clicking an ad.

    Spain's way or no way is the sort of arrogant answer that make Facebook's Zuck look like a flexible guy.

    Spain offered terms, and worded them such that Google had no choice, they either paid to list links or they shut down the service entirely, because far from allowing the site owners the option of 'opting in' by allowing Google to list their sites for free, site owners also had no choice, they had to charge Google to list them.

    Spain set the terms as 'Pay up or shut down', Google shut down. Don't like it? Don't set terms like that in the future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    Tice with a J (profile), 9 Nov 2015 @ 9:58pm

    Aw, shucks: I spend a few days away from this place, and you've gone and given me a front-page slot! Thanks for the honor, small though it may be. I'm glad I could contribute something of value to the comments section.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    Ninja (profile), 10 Nov 2015 @ 3:00am

    Re: Re: Don't like the terms? Don't use the service

    Here's the rub: What is Google News without content? It's a blank page.

    What is a newspaper without readers? See, it works both ways and proves what was said to you which means you are still wrong.

    Google doesn't produce content, they use content from others as a method by which to build their brand and retain people on their websites long, to use their services, and to gain ad revenue.

    Google provides channels and listings so people can easily find content. Do you know what most of the sites would have to do if search engines disappeared today? Invest money in telling people where to find them. Google is actually saving money for them.

    It works very well, Newspaper and media are dying left and right and Google is making billions.

    So now it's Google's fault that they newspapers seem to be unable to find a way to monetize the traffic Google sends their way for free. Bullshit, eh?

    Yet, Google without other people's content is, in the end, just and empty space.

    And content without people to use, consume and transform it is the same as said empty space. I'm really amused with how dumbtastic dumb you are.

    Google's choice, which is to walk away from the situation, indicates that they were unwilling to enter into any deal with might infer any value to content - yet as already established their site without the content would be worthless.

    And yet the newspapers took a tremendous hit because the traffic Google was sending them for free took a nose dive and then they went back whining at Google. I meaqn, it's sooo fair, I send you free traffic and I still have to pay you? Google was clear: they decided it wasn't economically viable to pay for a symbiotic relationship. What you are saying is that Google should take a loss just to please the newspapers. Do you realize how stupid and insane it is?

    Google is a value added provider, but it starts with something of value and adds value to it. Google is not going to hire people to write news articles all day, they are not a content creation company.

    So the newspapers should hire people, services to tell people where they are. So if Google does this job for them and gets some money while doing it then it seems quite reasonable. Bullshitting as always aren't we?

    Two things: Why should they not be available in the normal listings like other companies and websites? The real issue is that Google marks their content as "special" and repackages and reformats it as a news portal site. Why does Google treat it differently? Why should the news sites be obligated to opt out of everything just to avoid being slammed into a news site they don't want to be part of?

    Wow, Google adds FURTHER value by presenting stuff in a way that makes it easier for people to know what is it about and generates further interest (remember: Google shows only a small part of the articles) and this is bad? I mean, it's obvious this is bad, the Spanish newspapers were all happy when Google shut their News business in Spain, right? Keep bullshitting.

    Remember something too: bad traffic isn't any better than no traffic. In a world where advertisers are more and more often paying by action rather than paying per view, getting a million people in the door isn't always the best way to make money if those people aren't going to spend. The online model entirely changes the advertiser / newspaper relationship, in a manner where merely aggregating large numbers of readers isn't any assurance of solid income.

    Eh? Really? Are you crazy? If I send a million readers TO your site they are INSIDE your goddamn site. If you are stupid enough to lose the opportunity then it is YOUR problem, not mine.

    Google's way or no way is the sort of arrogant answer that make Facebook's Zuck look like a flexible guy

    Dude, you are an idiot. I'd love to see you offering a service for free to someone and still pay for it. You should start paying Techdirt because the stupidity you already offer for free.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2015 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Don't like the terms? Don't use the service

    "The terms offered by Google were simple: Google lists the content and gets people to use their service, the listed sites gain the benefits of increased traffic from those using Google's service.

    The spanish newspapers didn't like the terms and changed them, trying to force Google to pay them for the increased traffic it was sending them. Google didn't care for the terms the spanish government 'offered' and did without."

    This is how I understood it but for some reason Whatever seems to be trying to make it out to be something different and confuse the issue. I have little doubt he is doing so intentionally just being the type of person he is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2015 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't like the terms? Don't use the service

    "You are being intellectually lazy, assuming I am saying something when I am not."

    Actually you were being lazy for not clearly clarifying what you meant the first time. Say what you mean and make it clear the first time.

    I don't really think this is the issue that news sites are having. I think the issue isn't that they want to be listed on one search engine (google search) and not the other (google news) I think the issue is that they want to both be listed and paid to be listed at the same time. That's why, as mentioned before, they tried to construct the law in a way that prevents anyone from opting out of being paid by Google news if they're listed. If being in one search engine and not the other was really that big a deal then they could have simply tried to construct the law to force search engines to provide the option of being in one and not the other or, more simply, they could have requested that feature and I'm sure Google and search engines would have been glad to try and negotiate such a feature. No one besides you seems to be complaining about this and the law doesn't seem to reflect such a complaint so it's not a big deal that anyone really seems to care about.

    You are, once again, distracting us from the real issue into something completely different and arguing something completely irrelevant to the issue because you have no good arguments to make with regard to the actual problem and criticisms being made here. and it worked for a while, you actually mislead me. Good job and shame on me for being mislead because I should know better by now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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