Monday, November 10, 2014

Taxing news aggregator seems reckless

Google News is an aggregation service of world famous news. You can access many news sites in which you are interested via Google.

Aggregation, or curation services, are rapidly progressing recently. Gunosy I introduced in the past is an example. Nowadays, there are an astronomical amount of information on the world. So we have to distinguish valuable ones from the vast noise. Summarizing each of them into a combination of knowledge enable to understand at a glance is a priceless work. In Japan, lots of websites that is a compilation of clustered information, named "Matome Site (Summarized Site)" gain many viewers.

My past entry: Gunosy, an excelent e-curator

On the other hand, such aggregation services themselves create no additional information. They are nearly parasiting on the original sauces. Some sites are even worse, borrowing contents without any permission or disclosure of the origins. It is true that there are many websites making profit with violating copyrights of writers.

Thought against this matter seems conservative in Europe. There is discussion to introduce the regulation for referring to other sites on the internet. Spain and Germany have approved the legislation in which aggregators have to pay a fee in quoting the reports of other media. It is so-called "Google Tax".

Gizmodo: Spain's New "Google Tax" Could Be Bad for Everyone

Google and other multinational companies are disliked in some European countries. One of the reasons is the fact that such companies hardly pay the tax in most of the countries which are the field of commerce. Governments are eager to impose the tax with any manner. Thus, "Google Tax" has multiple meanings.

The Guardiaan: What is the ‘Google tax’?

However, some of the attempts are going to be ruined. In Germany, some media companies rejected being quoted in Google News based on the Google Tax scheme. As a result, they lost many readers. Google has so great power to manipulate the entry of internet users via its search engine. Being quoted for free would be more beneficial for most companies, that is real.

Reuters: Germany's top publisher bows to Google in news licensing row
I have heard a similar situation occurred in You Tube. In Japan, a certain animation movie was uploaded on You Tube without permission of copyright holders. It is obviously illegal, and it could reduce the profit of the publisher. However, the animation became extremely famous because many people watched it via You Tube gossiped after a while. As a result, the publisher gained much more income. Illegal uploading had a role of good advertisement, ironically.

The world of the internet is complex. And the grand tide of globalization is hardly to stop. I should keep an eye on the response of each player about this matter.

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