European publishers want a law to control online news access

10 07 2009

The desertion of advertising dollars from the ailing print media industry has left publishers searching for more of the one thing that the Internet seems intent on denying them: paying customers. Print publications in the US and Europe are scrambling to find ways to charge somebody—readers, link aggregators, blogs, competitors—for deriving any sort of benefit from the reporting they’re doing.

A group of European publishers has recently released a declaration of principles, the “Hamburg Declaration,” that amounts to a long-winded rant against the Internet for stealing their news. They want the government to step in and fix the situation by force of law.

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