Germany has apparently adopted a new copyright provision that does not cause deep links to news content to be copyright infringement. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) covered this in an article March 4, 2013 which you can find here.
So, apparently, this link to the news article is "legal" (or at least not a copyright violation in Germany at this time)
Now mind you, Blogger's treatment of embedded links (and most Blog sites) ... does not present any of the content from that site in an embedded way. However, if I use the same URL as part of a posting on LinkedIn or Facebook, they often do include an automated extract from the site, which is one of the factors upsetting the German News folks.
I notice that the WSJ seems to allow public access to this Google related article, but not so with a somewhat related article on how the TV Studios dealing with their concerns: "As Pirates Run Rampant, TV Studios Dial Up Pursuit." For this article, from what I can tell, you need to be a subscriber or pay for access. --- It is a more detailed article with nice color pictures graphs, etc. (I remember the Pre NewsCorp/Rupert Murdoch (also owning Fox News) days when the Journal only had Black & White, and used sketches of folks faces rather than pictures. ... for better or worse, the change in ownership and editorial bias has 'colored' the content) -- It is interesting in terms of transparency (or lack thereof) that the WSJ site does not have clear indicators of the News Corporation Ownership. The articles on the TV Studios (but also ties into related movie studio interests -- (20th Century Fox in the case of News Corp) -- does not identify the related editorial/ownership interests of the WSJ in the topic. It would surprise me if News Corp did not also join the German law suit with some level of input, and failed to disclose this in their coverage of the issue.
There are a couple of real problems here:
a) there is real abuse of copyright that is occurring
b) traditional media outlets often spend more effort (in lobbying, legal activity, monitoring, etc.) than in developing new business models that work profitably in this new environment.
c) content owners do not make content available though broadband media in a timely fashion
so to watch live sporting events (as mentioned in the TV Studios article) ... you have to buy access via a paid cable channel -- typically having to buy access to many items you don't want for an extended contract period, with installation and other fees --- if they allowed folks to pay a reasonable amount online, or followed the "old" broadcast model (with inserted ads) they would find much less incentive for piracy.
The Journals TV article ends with the question from a media representative "How do we protect ourselves?", by which he seems to mean "How do we protect our preferred or traditional business models?" ... It might be a more effective use of time to ask "How can we maximize access to our content in ways that provide profitable income?" It is an old rule of economics that the cost of a commodity will drop (in a free market) to the incremental cost of providing that commodity. The problem with digital delivery is that the costs for providing content approach zero. If you are producing a news story, or a blog, then the creation costs are fairly low. If you are producing a TV show they are higher, and of course major studios spend rather massive amounts of money creating feature films. But this affects every author, musician, etc. and until we learn how to fund our entertainment and creative artists we will be caught in a tension between old models and new technology.
I've started working my way though @AlGore s The Future. It is dense with interesting concept's and pithy observations. Some directly relate to "our fields" as technologists and warrant our consideration and awareness. So here is concept 1.0 (with more to follow):
There are not (or won't be) enough jobs for all of us.
And it is our fault -- that is to say, the result of technology improving productivity.
First, you have to get into a global perspective. If you view the entire planet as a closed economic system, then it does not matter where a job is done, it is "x" hours used to product "y". Gore makes the point that even in the "off-shore" targets for "moving jobs" there is a strong trend towards "Robosourcing" -- incorporating machines to improve productivity -- which is to say reduce the person-hours needed to accomplish the task. So, no matter where a person is being paid to do a specific task, technology is being applied to increase the productivity of that person and reduce the total number of persons needed to do that task -- globally.
In his book he gives the example of the US labor force involved in agricultural production dropping from 90% in 1776 to 2% in 1993. If you consider how the work force (total person hours) have migrated, they moved from farm to factory to industry to professional jobs to service jobs to ... Gore suggests that since the economic crash of 2008, productivity has boomed, with increased production in the US just not increased employment. We may have crossed a critical tipping point for employment. Once upon a time, 4% unemployment was considered :"full employment" -- that many persons were available for employment. It may well be that within the U.S. the percent of unemployed persons associated with full employment may be rising. Notice that we have to recognize these numbers in their more basic form, which is hours of labor. A self run business, or exempt employee puts in hours that are unpaid, are part of the actual hours invested.
An interesting model is to consider the global picture here:
There is some "Gross World Product" -- presumably the market value for every good or service created on Earth. (Treated as an annual value akin to GNP.)
There are the labor hours invested to create GWP which can be viewed three different ways:
- Hours paid (P) for in the production (excludes owners, exempt employees, externalized factors)
- Hours actually invested (I) (includes the above items)
- Hours required (R) to produce the goods and services actually sold/consumed
(excludes idle hours, production of goods not sold (food trashed at a hamburger stand, etc.))
- Productivity is the value of goods & services actually sold divided by hours paid for.
(I suspect GNP, etc. includes unproductive production as well -- items sold, trashed, failing QA...)
- Efficiency would seek to have "I" approach "R" (hours invested to hours required),
and also reduce "R" hours required. Robosoucing is both a productivity tool and an efficiency.
But consider a key value here, which is the GWR ... the gross world hours required to produce the actually used products and services. Technology can reduce this number. This reduces the total number of hours available for employment. If employee work hours and salaries were adjusted to maintain income levels and "full" employment, then we would not see an improvement in "productivity" in terms of paid hours to generate the goods and services. However, employees are laid off, jobs outsourced and other paths taken that reduce costs and improve profits which results in job losses and underemployment.
The long term picture at the global level indicates improved productivity and reduced paid hours of work available. We need to consider what this means as underemployed persons can't afford the same level of goods and services (potentially creating a negative feedback loop), and unemployed persons may civil unrest or social upheaval (presumably at some point the majority of voters in a democracy will find their situation favoring a different approach to labor laws, taxation, inheritance taxes, property ownership, etc.)