News agencies demand Facebook and Google pay for their stories

Here's a story from Naked Security about how European leaders are demanding that Facebook and Google start paying for the news content that news organizations produce.

The bottom line is that it costs money to report and produce the news, and the news organizations feel that Facebook and Google are making vast sums of money off their work.

Here's an excerpt from the story:

"We get that news without paying a dime to pay for journalists’ livelihoods or for the news bureaus that support them, the photographers or video reporters who also put their lives on the line to send us visual testimony, or for the editing teams who stitch the stories together and check them for accuracy or bias. Google, Facebook and other internet giants are making billions, while news agencies are withering on the vine: that’s the message from a group of nine European press agencies that on Thursday called for internet giants to be forced to pay copyright for using news content on which they make vast profits."

Here's an excerpt from the message from the European press agencies:

"That free access to the news is one of the great supposed victories of the internet, which many members of the European Parliament will strenuously defend in the name of noble democratic principles.

"However, in reality, the concept of free news is a myth. At one end of the chain, actually reporting to inform the public costs a lot of money. At the other end, news consumers are highly valued as an audience that generates advertising revenues. Between the two, some players have won. And some have lost heavily.

"A glance at the profits being made by internet giants, social networks, search engines and content aggregators is instructive. Facebook tripled its profits in 2016 to $10 billion. After friends and family, news is the next biggest driver of traffic to Facebook. Google has posted profits of $20bn on sales of $90bn. Its advertising revenues leapt 20% in a year. There, again, news was a key driver."

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