Just how far will a publisher go to protect its content assets in an online world?
The Nikkei this month took the extreme (and inexplicable) step of restricting any links to its articles — even to its own home page.
Under its new policy of requiring paid subscriptions, the Japanese financial news publication wants written requests for linking to the site. The Nikkei said the rules are meant to protect the pay wall and to stop linking from “inappropriate” sites that may try to manipulate stocks by misrepresenting the articles. Offenders are threatened with legal action.
Despite its role in the digital revolution, Japanese media still work in an isolated pond, stifiling innovation in news. Perhaps this is best understood in context: The country is home to the world’s biggest newspapers — the Yomiuri (with about 10 million readers) and the Asahi (8 million). Publishers are clearly trying to build a moat to prevent the cannibalizing of newspapers.
Extreme times — and equally extreme measures indeed.
(Photo/Creative Commons: Okinawa Soba, Flickr)