Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Murdoch + Microsoft: The new good guys?

Discussions Rupert Murdoch and Microsoft have stirred a lot of controversy lately, with the party line being that (1) it's a stupid idea that won't work, or (2) that it threatens the free Internet. All that's because Murdoch is threatening to sign an exclusive deal for his properties' content with Microsoft, which would mean it couldn't show up on Goggle or Yahoo searches. Supposedly not showing up on Google or Yahoo searches will cost it the all-important hits that may sometime in the future deliver money to the content provider (at least enough money to make it worthwhile).

Blogger Douglas Rushkoff at the Daily Beast says the controversy is for another reason -- it might work. Rushkoff says the "free Internet at any cost" is, and I'm paraphrasing a bit here, replacing the greedy old media monopolists like Murdoch with greedy new media monopolists like Google.

This argument makes sense to me: "However much we all might like free content in the short term, it is unsustainable in the long term. When nobody is paying for content, that content stops being created." That's the point missed by so many new media apologists.

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