Sunday, 18 October 2009

Paranoid Android?

Two stories in the Times this Saturday neatly illustrate the sharp divide between the approach of ‘old media’ and ‘new media’ to copyright and content. First up we have the Times’ owner itself, News Corporation, and Rupert Murdoch’s announcement that he wants ‘fair compensation’ for content produced by his media companies – and that in addition to looking to monetise his newspapers in the online arena, he would be seeking re-transmission fees from US cable and satellite operators that carry his Fox Television network. Murdoch has said that he will ask cable companies and other distribution partners to pay over a small proportion of the profits they make by reselling the channels. On the other side of the fence are Google, who Murdoch refers to as ‘content kleptomaniacs’. Google have announced that their Android search engine for mobile telephones will take the group into a new profitable area – advertising around mobile searches. To facilitate this, Google has made the operating code for Android open source and all handset manufacturers and operators from Nokia to T-Mobile to HTC can use it for free in their mobile phones – which is a distinct advantage for handset manufactures in quickly bringing product to market, and a distinct advantage for Google allowing it early domination of the mobile search market – and associated advertising revenue In it’s 2009 fiscal year News Corps operating income was $3.44 billion and net income for Google in the third quarter of 2009 was $1.64 billion.

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