Can the News Industry Move Beyond Its Napster Phase?

1 Summary

The news business is just one of many to see its entire value structure be steamrollered by the Internet. Today the journalism industry is still struggling through its Napster phase, in which creators are panicked to find their content stolen in droves right off the factory floor. (The Associated Press’ recent demand to be paid for every search result headline linking to its articles is reminiscent of music industry lawsuits against file-sharing college kids in the late ’90s. One almost expects Lars Ulrich to re-emerge and take up the AP’s cause.) It needs to find its iTunes phase, as the TV and movie industries are trying to do: the point at which people would rather buy than steal.