US News Editors Find it Increasingly Difficult to Defend the First Amendment — While the internet has opened opportunities to reach new audiences, it has also hurt the ability of news organizations to sustain themselves. And that spells trouble for freedom of the press. “‘Newspaper-based (and especially TV-based) companies have tougher budgets and are less willing to spend on lawyers to challenge sunshine and public records violations,’ one editor acknowledged. Another editor declared, ‘The loss of journalist jobs and publishers’ declining profits means there’s less opportunity to pursue difficult stories and sue for access to information.’ The costs of litigation constrain organizations.”
Amazon Unintentionally Paying Scammers To Hand You 1000 Pages Of Crap You Don’t Read — Maybe the internet hasn’t made publishers obsolete. “Right now, the scammers are mostly an inconvenience to readers and authors alike. But the bigger they get, the fewer people are going to trust their work to Kindle Unlimited, and the less decent stuff there will be for subscribers to read.”
EU digital chief calls on YouTube to pay music artists more — “The EU’s digital chief waded into a growing fight between record labels and YouTube, calling on the Google-owned video site to hand over more revenue to rights holders. Andrus Ansip, who is overseeing an overhaul of the bloc’s copyright rules, said the YouTube’s comparatively small payments to artists gave it an unfair advantage over rivals such as Spotify, the Swedish streaming service.”
How the FCC’s ‘Set-Top Box’ Rule Hurts Consumers — The CEO of Roku weighs in against the FCC’s set-top box proposal. “The proposed regulation would—as we say in the industry—’decouple the user interface’ from the video and data itself. This would allow a company like Google to do to the TV what it did on the Web—build an interface without the ‘inconvenience’ of licensing content or entering into business agreements with content companies such as ABC, FOX, HBO, or video distributors like pay TV operators. The unintended consequences of circumventing these kinds of arrangements are likely to include increased costs for consumers, reduced choices and less innovation.”
Piracy is the biggest threat facing the film industry as we know it — but not in the way you think — Film producer Jason Blum notes that as piracy hits studio bottom lines, it isn’t the big blockbuster franchise or low budget genre film that disappears, it is the high-end art film like Moneyball, The Social Network, 12 Years a Slave, or The Revenant.