Self-Immolation, British Style
From the Press Gazette article: "From January 2010, the licence charges will also apply to PR practitioners and 'other organisations forwarding links to newspaper websites as part of their commercial activity'." Even more disturbing, the new NLA policy seems to include back charging, as well, although comprehensively tracking down old hyperlinks and collecting fees on them, especially from non-UK sources, would undoubtedly prove daunting.
On the home page of the NLA Website comes its mission statement: "Operating on behalf of the UK's national and regional newspapers the NLA licenses organisations to take legal copies of newspaper articles"
[Publisher's note: If the NLA charges me for that quote, its billing department will get a brief response of disproportionately hurtful magnitude, and the copy editor for the Website will get a brief lecture on proper comma usage.]
Hyperlinks to content from newspapers in the United Kingdom will now be prohibited at online properties of Dark Wraith Publishing. When making reference to articles from British newspapers, writers at DWP group news sites like Big Brass Blog and The UnCapitalist Journal are being asked to henceforth cite the name of the Website from which news content is derived, provide the exact title of the article from which the content is drawn or a quoted passage is reproduced, and the name of the author and the date of publication for the content used if available.
The new NLA business model for member publishers has not been embraced elsewhere, particularly in the United States, but even a small degree of success in extracting a revenue stream from hyperlinks could trigger a similar effort here in an attempt to stop the spiral of information content toward the status of a public good commodity for which no positive price can be charged (because the cost of one more user is virtually zero), but for which substantial fixed costs must be incurred.
Should American newspapers start charging for hyperlinking to their articles, and they are trying to figure out a way around antitrust laws to do just that, Dark Wraith Publishing will issue a call for the cash-starved newspapers trying to pull the stunt to burn in unrelenting agony forever and ever in the fires of Hell's hottest roaster oven.
Wrote Moody Blue:
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