The Opposite of a Press Release

24 Feb 2021

The Global Online-Traders’ and Community-Hosters’ Association

CAMBRIDGE, UK — Today sees the launch of a new industry body for major technology companies in the online-shopping, social-networking and other related fields. The Global Online-Traders’ and Community-Hosters’ Association (GOTCHA) exists to protect the value of news stories about its members, and ensure fair compensation of those whose activities actually generate the news.

“This is a problem which dates back to the dawn of the industrial revolution”, said William Boot, the organisation’s chairman and CEO. “Newspapers and other media have always been fascinated by the activities of large companies and the personalities who lead them. It is fair to say, in fact, that a significant proportion of their revenues are derived from such stories, and today you can barely open a newspaper or visit a news website without reading about the wealth of an Amazon chairman, the activities of a Facebook CEO, or the supposed iniquities of a Google algorithm.”

Boot, a low-paid former journalist himself, says that he gradually became persuaded of the lack of fairness in the current system and determined to do something about it by joining the other side and forming a campaigning organisation on behalf of those who actually feature in the news.

“Nobody is saying that articles shouldn’t be written about these organisations and entrepreneurs”, he explained. “However, we are clearly living in an unbalanced world when media organisations can make significant amounts of money simply by writing a few words about those who do the hard productive work. These technologists give up years of their life creating services that provide value, products that enrich people’s lives, and platforms that dramatically reduce the friction of global trading. It seems only fair that, when an article is written about a major technology corporation or one of its officers or investors, some portion of the revenue derived from that story should go to the company or individual concerned, since, without their success, there would be no story to write. GOTCHA will be campaigning tirelessly on behalf of its members and will be facilitating the resulting payments made by the traditional media outlets.”

GOTCHA, though founded in Cambridge, England, has yet to announce the final location of its headquarters, though the association has made it clear it won’t be based in Australia.

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1 Comment

this is interesting – the commentary on the Australian law was mostly negative about the framing, but positive about the intent. now see this response:

Just to note, Google has a huge infrastructure (from when youtube started) for detecting when people upload links or content that is copyright, and so needs to be recompensed- for example, early on, Youtube offered the copyright owners 3 options:

1/ they offer (share of) associated advertising revenue from clicks related to content
2/ they offer market research data (clicker location etc)
3/ (last, cleverly) they remove content (or block it by location)

to back this up, youtube developed a bunch of clever content analysis (harder to do for audio & video where the content may be 3rd or nth generation poor quality copy, or, indeed, a cover version of a song – so they have a neat set of algorithms for approximate compparisons…

they also developed a huge legal infrastructure to do deals on bulk copyright so that when they identify content (or it self idenntifies) as “time warner” or “news international/sky”, they already have a regional deal, they don’t have to go to all that effort …

so of course, they’d have no problem with a legal framework such as Oz have declared as they are all set – I suppose microsoft might be similar, and Adobe, beig in the content business and having DRM tech, would be happy to sell more licenses…

facebook, on the other hand, are on another planet, and, I think, deserve to lose this one…

of course, there are debateds about the recompense rates that google/youtube has made that might not favour independnet content creators, but are ok for bulk (especially legacy/back catalog) content owners….

but I think this is better than what happened before, as it leads to a space where quality content is rewarded. plus it is likely to be more consistent wth EU digital services act and related…so future proofs the online service providers that head this direction will be better able to migrate….

my 2 cents…

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