2010-07-21 Google Tells FTC Enforcing "Hot News" Would Create a Hot Mess

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<hide> <let name=data index=Date>2010-07-21</let> <let name=data index=Author>Mathew Ingram</let> <let name=data index=Source>New York Times</let> <let name=data index=Topics>\mainstream media\Google\US/gov/FTC\protectionism\monopoly\war on the internet\freedom of speech\intellectual property</let> <let name=data index=URL>http://www.nytimes.com/external/gigaom/2010/07/21/21gigaom-google-tells-ftc-enforcing-hot-news-would-create-40240.html</let> <let name=data index=Title>Google Tells FTC Enforcing "Hot News" Would Create a Hot Mess</let> <let name=data index=TitlePlain>Google Tells FTC Enforcing "Hot News" Would Create a Hot Mess</let>

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The media industry may be in upheaval as a result of the web, but having the government step in isn't the right response, Google has told the Federal Trade Commission. The search company's comments are a response to the FTC's draft proposal, released last month, on policy changes to support the media business and journalism in particular. The draft document includes proposed changes to intellectual property laws to protect news entities from aggregators (such as Google News), a loosening of anti-trust laws to allow media outlets to collaborate on paywalls and other methods of charging for the news, as well as a proposal for government subsidization of the industry.

In a blog post on the Google Public Policy blog, public policy director Pablo Chavez said that while the Internet has presented challenges for traditional publishers, Google is "optimistic about the news industry's future." But Chavez said the company strongly disagrees with many of the recommendations in the FTC draft paper, including the suggestion that the government should enact a "hot news doctrine" – that is, legislation that would prevent others from reporting the same facts as a traditional publisher for a period of time after a news event. In effect, this would alter the principles of fair use under existing copyright law.

The proposed changes would:

  1. violate free speech
  2. protect the traditional media from having to keep up with innovation on the internet
  3. violate the entire point of intellectual property law (e.g. it's not intended to prevent ideas or facts from being copied)
  4. be really stupid

...but you had to know that they were going to try pulling something like this anyway, right? </let>

<let name=data index=TextShort>“The draft document includes proposed changes to intellectual property laws to protect news entities from aggregators (such as Google News), a loosening of anti-trust laws to allow media outlets to collaborate on paywalls and other methods of charging for the news, as well as a proposal for government subsidization of the industry.”</let> </hide><if not flag=$including><let name=docat val=1 /><call ShowLinkData /></if>