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In preparing this post I struggled with the question how to call the process between two parties offering complementary services that obviously refer reciprocally in their actions to each other but do not directly and explicitly negotiate? This question came to me, when recently the German debate on an ancillary copyright (see “Dilbert on Ancillary Copyright“) for publishing houses arrived in the US. “Editor & Publisher”, proud of being “America’s Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry”, features an article asking “Change in Copyright Law: A Possible Solution to News Content Crisis?”  As a solution suggest by industry representatives, the article reports demands for introducing compulsory licensing fees for Web-based agregators or re-distributors of news content.

But aside this transatlantic discourse coalition addressing legislative bodies, we can see interesting dynamics of unilateral (non-)negotiation between two big players in this game, thereby changing the rules as they “play”: Google and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. The latter’s opener were plans of a partnership with Microsoft regarding the new search engine Bing. Business Week’s Douglas MacMillan describes the potential deal as follows:

“In an effort to keep News Corp.’s newspaper content out of Google’s search results, Murdoch’s media giant has held early-stage talks to forge a deal that would put content from The Wall Street Journal, and possibly other company-owned publications, exclusively in Microsoft’s Bing search engine. […] In exchange for the exclusive content, Microsoft would pay an undisclosed fee[.]”

Only about a week later Google announced its counterstrike on its corporate blog, explicitely referring to concerns of newspaper publishers: Read the rest of this entry »

The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
June 2023

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