FTC: We Will Reinvent Journalism By Force

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a proposal for government to establish total control over all news media.  The document’s Orwellian title reads as follows:
POTENTIAL POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS TO SUPPORT THE REINVENTION OF JOURNALISM

The document goes on to list 13 points describing how statist newspaper ad revenues have been cut in half since 2000 because the alternative news media is kicking their butts.

Then we get to point 14.

“There are reasons for concern that experimentation may not produce a robust and sustainable business model for commercial journalism.”

Obviously this means the government must create a “sustainable” business model for them – with your tax dollars.

UH HO! What’s this!

The news is a “public good” in economic terms.

Where have I heard that before?  Any time the word “public good” is thrown around by government agents you know mischief is at hand.  When government considers something “public,” they automatically assume that means the “public” has the right to control it. – which means THEY have the right to control it.

“consumer demand for public affairs reporting in particular may be suboptimal”

By “suboptimal” they mean that since the public is obviously too dumb to know what they should be reading, government will have to subsidize communist news media with your tax dollars.  The free market can not be trusted to provide the correct amount of public affairs reporting.

“it is not too soon to start considering policies that might encourage innovations to help support journalism into the future.”

By this they mean government is going to have to step into the news media market in order to regulate alternative media competition out of the picture so the statist old-guard media can get back to monopolizing the news.

Now we move on to the meat and potatoes of the Stalinist regulations they are seeking to implement in order to shut down alternative media.

Potential Revenue Sources from Changes in Law

A. Additional Intellectual Property Rights to Support Claims against News Aggregators

3. Policy Proposals

Proposal 1: Federal Hot News Legislation.

Some stakeholders have proposed amending the Copyright Act to specifically recognize hot news protection. Advocates argue “the copyright act allows parasitic aggregators to ‘free ride’ on others’ substantial journalistic investments”

Proposal 2: Statutory Limits to Fair Use

One panelist suggested amending the Copyright Act to limit the fair use doctrine that might otherwise protect from copyright infringement the activities of aggregators and search engines, such as the types of search engine activities blessed by the 9th Circuit in Perfect 10. In particular, he recommended legislation clarifying that the routine copying of original content done by a search engine in order to conduct a sea(caching) is copyright infringement not protected by fair use.

Proposal 3: Licensing The News

Finally, some suggest that some sort of industry-wide licensing arrangement be adopted, perhaps with the government’s help and support. Foreign governments have considered how to provide adequate incentives and funding for the news and are exploring, for example, the creation of government-fostered pilot programs to investigate new business models for IP and discourage free-riding. Such programs might enable newspapers and other content providers to experiment with micropayments” and other means to monetize digital content.

So to summarize:

  1. Ban the ability of blogs to aggregate the latest news.
  2. Ban the ability of search engines to distribute news clips.
  3. And the create a licensing scheme for journalists, where one needs to get industry/government approval before one can publish news information.

But there’s so much more!

B. Collaborative Actions and Antitrust Exemptions

Proposals:

Allow news organizations to agree jointly to erect pay walls so that consumers must pay for access to online content.

Allow news organizations to agree jointly on a mechanism to require news aggregators and others to pay for the use of online content, perhaps through the use of copyright licenses.

What they are saying is,

  1. We should allow the statist print media to organize itself into a monopoly and exempt them from anti-trust laws.
  2. We should also allow them to force bloggers to pay a fee each time they want to quote news snippets from their sites.

It gets better.

II. Potential Revenues from Indirect and Direct Government Support

This section first reviews the history of government subsidies and then presents proposals that have emerged to date to provide additional government funds to sustain journalism.

B. Proposals for Increased Government Subsidies, Indirect and Direct

· Establish a “journalism” division of AmeriCorps.

· Increase funding for the CPB. (public broadcasting)

· Establish a National Fund for Local News.

· Provide a tax credit to news organizations for every journalist they employ.

· Establish Citizenship News Vouchers.

Citizenship news vouchers would allow every American tax payer to allocate some amount of government funds to the non-profit media organization of their choice.

· Provide grants to universities to conduct investigative journalism.

· Allow the Small Business Administration to insure loans to fund new nonprofit journalism organizations.

· Allow content developed for international broadcasting to be used domestically.

Almost $700 million of taxpayers’ money is spent on content generated for use by Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty for international dissemination. This news would be valuable to U.S. citizens as well. A 60-year old law, however, prohibits the rebroadcast of this government-funded international news to U.S. consumers and taxpayers.

· Increase postal subsidies for newspapers and periodicals.

Did you catch that?

Government is spending 700 million dollars of your money on international propaganda and they want to direct that massive government megaphone at the American public.  They also want to totally subsidize the news media with your money ON TOP  of creating more totally government controlled media sources.

THIS IS INSANE

What country am I living in?  The Soviet Union?

The document then goes on to put forth some proposed mechanisms for paying for all this, including:

  1. A tax on the broadcast spectrum
  2. A tax on consumer electronics
  3. A tax on advertising sales
  4. A tax on internet service and cellphone service.

Then the document goes on to list all manner of cronyism with the tax system and how the tax system can be utilized to prop up failing statist media sources.

Then the document details how government information should be made more accessible to the media.

I kid you not, this is the most Orwellian insanity put out by our government I have ever seen in my life.

This is your criminal communist government in action.

I can not believe I just read what I just read.

“Whoever reads the bourgeois press turns deaf and blind. Away with these stupidity-causing bandages.”


If anyone is interested in learning real facts about intellectual property and copyright from a professional economist / IP lawyer, watch this:

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“The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses. ” – Vladimir Lenin

“Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.” – Thomas Jefferson

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” – Thomas Jefferson