Today in media news:
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has set its sights on new “top-level” domain names -- including “.book,” “.author,” “read,” “.movie,” “.app” and “.wow” -- that will be available as part of the Web domain expansion made possible by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Unsurprisingly, some industry groups and Amazon competitors want to limit the domain names that the already massive online retailer will control: The Authors Guild cites a “potential for abuse,” and Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) reportedly filed an objection with ICANN cautioning against giving Amazon control over the domain names on grounds that it would “stifle competition in the bookselling and publishing industries.” According to the Wall Street Journal, other big companies have applied for new domain names, including Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL). It is unclear how ICANN will determine which company will be given control over a particular domain name in cases where there are competing applications. (WSJ)
Whoops! The New York Times Co.-run Boston.com (The Boston Globe) took at face value a satirical story about Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman: On March 6, the Daily Currant published a fake article announcing that Krugman had filed for bankruptcy, and Boston.com picked it up on March 7. It remained on their site until Jim Romenesko blogged about their error on Monday; Romenesko wrote that Boston.com pulled the article “two minutes” after he posted. The conservative blog Breibart.com also aggregated the fake story, as did news outlets in China and Austria. IBTimes has more on the story here. (JimRomenesko.com, Daily Currant )
Everyone’s still talking about the write-for-free debate Nate Thayer ignited last week when he published an email exchange between himself and a newbie Atlantic editor (who, for the record, is not a newbie to the publishing world in general) who asked him to repurpose a (possibly plagiarized) story in exchange for “exposure.” Among the latest dispatches, Gawker’s Cord Jefferson points out the infrequently-pointed-out obvious that this widespread industry practice gives an unfair competitive edge to economically advantaged writer types whose parents or trust funds can supplement a going rate of $0.00/word. The Atlantic.com continues to make page-view lemonade with a second installment of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Lucrative Work For Free Opportunity” column (whose title is taken from a subject line of an email from another Atlantic editor): In a continuation of the piece, Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan offers a counterpoint, and suggests that blogs should consider charging would-be commenters a fee. And finally, Ezra Klein of the Washington Post takes another (odd) angle, raising the question of source compensation. After all, they are “working” for “exposure,” too, he argues.
Speaking of Al Jazeera, apparently they are eyeing the old New York Times building on 223 W. 43th St. off Times Square. This comes on the heels of Al Jazeera’s purchase of Al Gore’s Current TV (which he defended at SXSW panel talk this weekend) and a massive hiring spree for their U.S. expansion, right around the time that the New York Times had another round of layoffs. Rub the Gray Lady’s face in it a little more? (Gothamist, Fast Company)
Times media columnist David Carr, also speaking at SXSW this weekend, looked back at the introduction of the Times paywall, just two short years ago. He defended both the introduction of the paywall and its softness – which is by design. “We did that on purpose. If you like it so much that you’re willing to do a hack around a URL just to get a peek under our dress … eventually you’re going to give us some money,” he reportedly said, among other delightful quotables, including a jab at Andrew Sullivan, which can be found here and here. (PaidContent.org)