By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

When GateHouse met Google

Yes, it’s all GateHouse all the time at Media Nation. In my latest for the Guardian, I cast a wary eye on Google’s seemingly benign takeover of the virtual village common — and cite GateHouse as an example of why it may not be so benign after all.

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  1. NewsHound

    Dan – I agree with much if not all of the points you have made about the intrusion into GateHouse’s intellectual property. From a legal perspective GateHouse most likely has a strong but complicated case.But, from a business perspective, this puts them one step closer to death. I suppose they could also attempt to ask the court to impose an injunction preventing the public from buying and reading any of its newspapers. Of course, we know they’re not that silly but to give up free exposure and advertising donated by a competitor doesn’t necessarily make good business sense.

  2. Ani

    I’m curious to know what computer jocks currently think about Google. I know that Google hadn’t been well respected, at least as a search engine, by the physics and engineering crowd for years.

  3. NewsHound

    As we move along in time, especially with technology developments, we continue to explore and live within new territory.By being out there in the public domain in some manner, Google and shopping malls may not have as much right as they think and some day could be ruled by the Court as such: to have surrendered some of its rights the same as a public celebrity.Certainly a mall, and perhaps Google, has a right and a duty to establish a minimum code of conduct but stretching far from what is acceptable, even if inappropriate, from what happens on Main Street, may at some point be ruled by the Court as not legal.The demonstration in the Beverly parade is certainly borderline of acceptable, and certainly not appropriate in the sense of civilized manners, but perhaps well within First Amendment Rights.And, any significant Main Street lookalike in the USA may also be legally required to accept the rights of our citizens if it expects to attract and financially enjoy our citizens. So to Google and the every mall in America, either accept the rights and privileges guaranteed to every citizen of the USA, or go out of business. It is one way, or the other.

  4. Bill

    I find it kind of amazing that so many large media outlets with sophisticated websites designed for large amounts of traffic depend upon a 3rd party like YouTube to display video.Do you have any idea why a company like GateHouse doesn’t have the capability to host video on their own servers? I can do it on my $50/year ISP account so I would expect a company like GateHouse to host the video just like the rest of their web content.Is it just that YouTube presents an easy way for reporters to upload or is it a server bandwidth issue that prevents them from keeping this more in house?

  5. Dan Kennedy

    Bill: YouTube is a free and simple publishing platform, so it makes sense that companies would take advantage of it. As long as you don’t think YouTube is going to censor you, why make an investment that could be seen as unnecessary?As I understand it, content providers can also negotiate deals with YouTube so they can have higher-quality video that breaks through the 10-minute limit.Finally, news organizations are trying to be seen in as many places as possible. By having a channel on YouTube, you can entice viewers to follow you back to your own Web site. In that respect, using YouTube is theoretically better than hosting video yourself.

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