Thursday, October 16, 2003

Mail- Feedback 

"I share you sentiments 100 per cent, but the cold truth is that
information costs money. Can you work through the finances for me?"
(It will appear here over the next few days.)

"The copyright holders only allow the collections to use their
material because of limited distribution. What's in it for them?"
(I understand the rights of property-owners and the urge to profit from your work. The thought is not to trespass on their property rudely, but show them how providing free-access public-use materials will create goodwill, which is a tangible commodity, and enhance their ongoing project by making more people aware of what they have to sell or share. I am not advocating tearing down all walls, just asking proprietors to provide a lobby--some place where users can see things without paying first.)

>Newspapers are basically now an advertising device that make lots of
>money from charging willing merchants and politicians for
>advertising, way beyond the costs of production and management. It
>is common knowledge that newspapers give out subsidized or free
>copies in order to boost circulation figures and raise ad costs.

Yes, they're advertising vehicles. So are we, in that sense.
(Wait, I don't get paid for this and have no sponsors other than the passive one at the top that hosts this page. Advertisers are paying the major daily newspapers to air their latest campaign and project the image they want to the public. This means the newspaper will not print negative things about the advertiser or face losing the funds. That means the paper has been compromised and is no longer objective, but subjective to the tone of the advertiser.)

But "way beyond the costs of production and management" isn't true if you look
at the margins. If you look at the UK national market, three titles
operate at a healthy profit, three more get by, and the rest are
subsidized or run otherwise run at a loss.
(True, I should have qualified that with more adjectives. Okay, I will take back the hyperbole and say that "newspapers generally run at a profit, or soon cease to exist.")

>How much would this cost?
It's a question you have to try to answer, rather than ask, if the
proposal is to be taken seriously. I'll help if I can...(xxxxxx xxxxxxxx)
(more mail later)
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