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Rupert Murdoch may set the tone but Robert Thomson has the way with words. Last week, the News Corp (NYSE: NWS) chairman and CEO spoke out a…

Rupert Murdoch may set the tone but Robert Thomson has the way with words. Last week, the News Corp (NYSE: NWS) chairman and CEO spoke out against allowing Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and others “to steal all our copyrights.” Plain but emphatic. Thomson, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones and managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, not so plain but equally emphatic during an interview with The Australian:

– “There is a collective consciousness among content creators that they are bearing the costs and that others are reaping some of the revenues — inevitably that profound contradiction will be a catalyst for action and the moment is nigh. There is no doubt that certain websites are best described as parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the internet.”

– “Google argues they drive traffic to sites, but the whole Google sensibility is inimical to traditional brand loyalty. Google encourages promiscuity — and shamelessly so — and therefore a significant proportion of their users don’t necessarily associate that content with the creator.”

In a second article, The Australian –a News Corp. paper — looked at WSJ.com‘s progress as a News Corp. property. Thomson spoke of repurposing content across new sites and mobile devices:

– “So an Indian audience will be interested in what’s happening in Asia, and commodity prices as well, as India imports 70 per cent of its oil. So we are repurposing the same collection of content and the cost of that is minimal — just a couple of extra people — but the benefit to readers and the potential advertising upside is endless.” He predicts the online Journals (recently launched editions include India and Egypt) will be a “global powerhouse” in a year.

– Thomson said micropayments have been discussed as one way to fund news but the micropayment systems have to be more sophisticated.

For those who might think we’ve quoted too extensively here, especially given the subject, trust me. There’s plenty more where this came from. And, yes, as far as I know, the timing of these comments with the Associated Press content-protection announcement was coincidental.

  1. I don't see how "loyalty" here makes sense for most news readers. What they in general want is timeliness, relevance, sufficient quality and trustworthiness. In the online market where papers across the world are vying for my attention, news is like a commodity and is equally well served by anyone.

    At least the same power that prevents some web users from being loyal to a single paper also prevent them from being loyal to a different one.

    I'd wish news corporations good luck, but I don't think that can help them now.

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  2. Curious: just how sophisticated to microtransaction systems have to be? I want content, I'll pay for it, just give me a way to do it. In over thinking this, aren't newspapers shooting themselves in the foot before the horse has even left the gate?

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