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The Media The Courts Technology

How Publishers Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Zite's Aggregator 22

Posted by timothy
from the and-you're-reading-it-here dept.
waderoush writes "In March 2011, personalized-magazine startup Zite got a cease-and-desist letter from a group of 11 media giants outraged by the way Zite's popular iPad app 'misappropriated' their news articles. By August 2011, Zite had become part of CNN, which is owned by Time Warner, one of the organizations behind the C&D letter. Zite's brief clash with the media establishment, followed by its swift assimilation into the same establishment, is emblematic of a larger story unfolding in the media business: the grudging acknowledgement by publishers that readers want to access their content in new ways. In this article Zite CEO Mark Johnson explains how the startup mollified publishers (by presenting articles in 'Web view' mode rather than a stripped-down 'reader mode'), why CNN bought the company, and how it strives to make reading more enjoyable while still respecting publishers' business models."
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How Publishers Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Zite's Aggregator

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  • IRC + Eggdrop + Rss = Best use of internet ever
  • About the Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by brit74 (831798) on Friday March 02, 2012 @08:59PM (#39227839)
    In this article Zite CEO Mark Johnson explains how the startup mollified publishers (by presenting articles in 'Web view' mode rather than a stripped-down 'reader mode')

    Just to be clear: what this means is that the news agencies' Advertisements were displayed, instead of stripping the information down to the article (without ads). The News agencies were right to send C&D letters to Zite, but with the new system, the news agencies had a chance to make revenue off of their own content.

    The answer to the question "How did publishers learn to stop worrying and love zites aggregator?" is "Zite changed their system to be respectful towards the content producers and their need to make money from content they produced". (I just want to head off any comments by who want to jump on the narrative that publishers need to just need to look at things differently regarding, say, piracy.)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      On what basis does a content publisher have the right to tell me / force me how I want their content displayed on my screen?

      My device, my rules.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Charliemopps (1157495)
      Sorry, no... you're wrong. Things are different now. Publishers don't seem to get it, and neither do you. The publishing industry is DEAD. They're walking corpses. They used their money to buy out this company and convert them to being "friendly" to their century old business model. Good for them. Unfortunately, they missed the other 1000 software packages and websites doing the same god damn thing. If you've got money in the publishing industry you're a fool. It's not "Right" to help these companies live i
  • Publishers: "Aggregation is okay, but only if we control who's doing it!"

    • Publishers: "Aggregation is okay, but only if we control who's doing it!"

      Be prepared for whatever useful features of this app to go away in the next few versions. Such as the ability to aggregate sources that are not controlled by Time Warner.

    • by game kid (805301)

      Embrace, extend, et cetera.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday March 02, 2012 @09:08PM (#39227931)

    I've been using Zite for a while now (which I started using on an iPad), the thing I really love about it is that it does the best job of anything I've seen at finding stuff from websites out of the mainstream.

    Unlike Flipboard where you might be looking at a lineup of TechCrunch or Engadget articles, Zite has found of ton of great articles on obscure blogs all over the place.

    This goes for general programming things, to process of development, to specific languages and technologies.

    It even has an endearing quirk if you follow the topic "Cocoa" - I entered that referring to the Apple development framework, but mixed in with the development articles are articles about the cocoa industry and recipes for hot chocolate...

    I really recommend it as great resource to plum for deep interest in pretty much any subject (though as I said I use it mostly for programming).

  • by Morgaine (4316) on Friday March 02, 2012 @09:12PM (#39227965)

    It's pretty funny when the corporations that have traditionally thought of news as their "product" come face to face with the Internet, where "plain ol' people" seem to discover and distribute news just as well as they, or in most cases a lot better and faster. Shocking! :P

    Their C&D's and other tactics based on concepts of "intellectual property" really have no solid foundation at all because news isn't actually a product nor of artistic merit. It's a sign of obsolete businesses using every protectionist tactic they can to stave off their demise, nothing more.

    It won't work. Things move on, they always do. News has been democratized.

    • But how do you know what is "news"?

      If you just "take" the news from someone who doesn't think it is their "product", I would be very suspicious.

      Example A: Joe Bob said that Farmer Smith's cow died, tells the local paper, they publish a copyrighted story, standing behind their source.

      Example B: "free source" reports Farmer Smith's cow died. (uncredited source - "local paper").

      Question: Did Farmer Smith's cow die?

      Side notes: "free source" has a take-down request from the local paper for using t
    • by DaveGod (703167)

      Plain ol' people always discovered most news.

      This is how it worked pre-internet: Joe Public discovers news, sends it to media company. Media company adds value in the form of investigation, write-up, trust and distribution. Consumer acquires news from media company. Alternately, Joe Public can skip the media company and distribute his news through gossip.

      The internet has improved the gossip network to the point that as a distribution mechanism it is equal to what the media company has. It's fast, consumer c

  • They are going to sue to lower the buyout price, then buy out the company, and own what they are too lazy and stupid to do for themselves.

    Either that, or bully internet companies into forking over what they painstakenly made and not only give the media companies credit, rights and money for someone elses inventions. 10 years down the road they'll be telling everyone how genius they are for inventing it previously.

    No diffrent than a gang claiming turf this media establishment.

  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Friday March 02, 2012 @10:00PM (#39228353)

    ...grudging acknowledgement by publishers that readers want to access their content in new ways.

    The media companies have not grudgingly acknowledged shit, be it move, music, TV, book, magazine, and news publishers etc. They know that we want new way to access content. Mostly ways where they lose the control they once had. This purchase is just a way to co-opt and grind down an innovator. Do you really think that they purchased the company to help it provide -us- with better service? Think again, providing service is supposed to be a company's main motivator, but control over existing revenue streams and inability to innovate has these behemoths acting reflexively against their customers instead.

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.