Interesting piece in TechDirt about watermarking content. The associated Press has convinced Boston newspaper Town News to adopts its watermarking service to stop people from copying and pasting content because the biggest threat to online news editions is widespread copying and plagiarism. The article says that they hope to adopt watermarking to stop online piracy:
“Probably the biggest issue within the newspaper/Internet world is controlling the re-use of content posted on the World Wide Web”
Err… no. Copying is the least of their concerns, the biggest concern is competition from other news sources, including aggregators, blogs, cable networks, and microblogging. The amount of revenue lost due to content copying is minuscule. Town News then says:
“There are some Internet die-hards who believe that anything posted on the Internet can be re-used for any purpose whatsoever – copyright and other laws be damned.”
Yet another falsehood. I personally do not know anyone who believes such thing. Even if there are those who think like that, the issue is not that there are Internet die-hards copying every single post from Town News and posting it on their blogs. The issue is that people do not visit Town News in the first place, and do not buy the newspaper. That is the real question at hand.