Quality digital content can’t break through sea of online garbage

From Axios:

Tech platforms have littered the media universe with crap — stolen ideas, pirated video, plagiarized text, manipulated content, and fake news. And efforts to protect and elevate quality original content have faltered in the digital era.

Why it matters: While technology has made it easier for creators to find an audience and upend media hierarchies, it’s also made it harder for owners of original content to get paid for their work. Just ask the news industry.

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What’s happening: A slew of new laws and market conditions are beginning to swing the pendulum the other way — albeit slightly — and return at least some power back to original content owners.

  • In news, Google executives have warned that they will shut down Google News in Europe if policymakers there move forward with implementing a “link tax,” a provision that would give publishers copyright over content that is shared online via platforms like YouTube or Facebook, per The Guardian.
  • In music, Taylor Swift announced last month that as a part of her new contract with Universal Music Group, she negotiated a provision that would help fellow artists get a cut of Spotify shares owned by UMG, if they were to ever sell them. The move comes just months after Congress passed a hallmark law that will also help music creators and record owners get paid.
  • In video, AT&T discontinued internet service to customers who have repeatedly violated the company’s piracy policies, signaling that telecom companies are taking video piracy more seriously as they get into the original content business themselves.
  • In streaming, many new subscription video players are in a bitter fight over who can afford to create the most original content and buy up the most popular franchises. This is considered great for production studios, but terrible for TV networks who can’t afford to pay up.

Link to the rest at Axios

8 thoughts on “Quality digital content can’t break through sea of online garbage”

  1. The news industry is itself garbage. The reason I pay much more attention to rumors gathered via internet, or court documents found over the internet, is that the former are more trustworthy and the latter are produced by parties that might possibly hesitate to commit deliberate and calculated fraud.

    I’m particularly unhappy to hear about the AT&T thing. Weren’t they claiming common carrier?

  2. In other news, some of those ‘owners of original content’ are splitting away from Netflix and made their own streaming services with their own fees. Many seem shocked that their watchers on Netflix don’t consider their ‘original content’ isn’t worth the extra fees. (I’m guessing they never understood how cable bundling deals worked.)

    And AT&T has never really played nice as a common carrier, only paying lip service to the idea and only when it suited them.

    I find it amusing that Axios is upset with Google’s plan to not pay those so called ‘link taxes’, A) there’s not enough money in linking those sites for Google to ‘play’ to link them and B) those news sites will lose far more in page/ad hits than this ‘link tax’ would have made them. (Germany and Spain could have explained it to those EU clowns if they’d only listen.)

    MYMV and I expect even greater stupidity is coming in 2019!

  3. “… it’s also made it harder for owners of original content to get paid for their work. Just ask the news industry.”

    Better idea: ask authors and idie game developers.

    ANYONE who tries to argue that “original content owners” are suffering under modern-day distribution paradigms is someone you can reliable presume was one of the gatekeeper corporations/creators of the pre-internet era.

  4. efforts to protect and elevate quality original content have faltered in the digital era

    How precisely is “quality” defined here, and why does it need to be protected and elevated? I always thought that quality elevated itself, which led to a certain amount of inherent protection.

    Maybe the writer defines “quality” as “what we say you should like,” and “crap” is defined as “what the plebs actually spend their money on.”

    • You got it! What I’m peddling is gold, everything else is crap – just ask me.

      Trad-pub is very upset that they now have to compete with indie writers – some big sellers that they’d rejected as not worth it (or not having enough slots so the writer made their own slot.)

    • Since this is in the context of News content, quality would be content that is vetted by a recognized organization and each piece of information has at least two sources. It doesn’t really have to do with the quality of the writing. It has to do with the quality of the journalism.

      • +1
        Properly vetting news content is tedious, time-consuming, and difficult, and therefore not free. Good writing is the sauce that makes journalism palatable, but vetting makes it nutritious. Well-sauced crap may go down easy, but it will eventually make you sick.

        • And yet news outlets publish unconfirmed reports, hearsay, and outright libel with great regularity. And unlike the authors of any other form of nonfiction, they are neither required nor expected to credit their sources.

          All too often, the journalist‘s ‘Sources say…’ merely means ‘This is sheer gossip and almost certainly a lie. I can’t get away with reporting that it happened, but I can report that someone said it happened.’

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