What’s scarier than a zombie apocalypse? Worse than Paris monsoons? Far more frightening than watching [REC]2 alone? Having Google inform your government ministries that they will “no longer reference [insert nation-state here] websites.” Pressure from French newspapers forced lawmakers to pass legislation restricting copyright infringement. Lawbreakers will face up to 300,000 euros in fines. To my surprise, Germany has already approved a “Lex Google” parliamentary policy that aims to minimize Google searches as we know it.
Here’s the problem. Since when does an online store just waiting to get it’s door knocked on, even think to earn ‘search compensation’ from the very tool that encourages its traffic? It’s like asking my professors to write a recommendation for my future employment and then demand reimbursement. They are doing me a service, not the other way around. Without a reference, a search engine, a reputable link, you don’t have a journal worthy of any pair of eyes be it in the 5th arrondissement or Jakarta, Indonesia.
Seriously folks, it’s time to re-examine the profits vs. IP entitlements battle. Yes, every expertly drafted post or article deserves fair compensation be it financial or professional. But the internet is eroding our notions of literary content’s market value and price. Since data, information and communication is in real-time consumers are exchanging services and ideas at volatile prices.
It’s almost as if we’re going back to a bartering system. The internet is a critical infrastructure whereupon e-commerce vendors make their daily bread. Creating penalty systems on the internet is a medieval solution to a modern problem. Newsweek, a 79-year-old journal print, went completely digital today. Was it for sustainable initiatives like protecting the Amazonian rainforests or in support of cute Koala bear’s habitat? If there are dollars or euros in your eye’s you’ve guessed right. There’s no debate that the internet is THE modern-day newsstand for media content. And as of yet, fixing prices for digital content is still a frustrating game of supply and demand.