×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Murdoch Demands Kindle Users' Info

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the another-in-a-long-line-of-bad-decisions dept.

The Media 433

In yet another move to display how antiquated and completely ignorant of digital culture he is, Rupert Murdoch has started demanding that Amazon hand over user info for all Kindle users. This demand comes right after Murdoch just finished negotiating a larger share of revenue from Amazon sales. At least Amazon hasn't decided to comply with this request yet. "'As I've said before, the traditional business model has to change rapidly to ensure that our journalistic businesses can return to their old margins of profitability,' Murdoch said. 'Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

433 comments

Link? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28989765)

What the hell is this? Twitter? some blag? Where on earth is the link to TFA?

Story available... (4, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989825)

...but only to those who turn over their personal information and credit card billing info.

Re:Link? (4, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989865)

What the hell is this? Twitter? some blag? Where on earth is the link to TFA?

It's not like you'd actually read it.

Re:Link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28989923)

Actually, with how poorly the summaries have gotten today, I was going to read it to figure out what he actually wanted.

(yes, yes, s/today/this decade/)

Re:Link? (4, Funny)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990097)

Slashdot Rule #36: TFA is only important when the link is not posted to TFA.

Story link to DailyFinance.com article (5, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989881)

Murdoch's ultimatum to Amazon: Give us Kindle subscriber names or else [dailyfinance.com]

Jeff Bercovici
Aug 5th 2009 at 7:00PM

Rupert Murdoch's mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore. High-handed treatment from Amazon, that is.

On News Corp.'s (NWS) fiscal-year-end earnings call with analysts, the notoriously shoot-from-the-hip mogul suggested that The Wall Street Journal will cease to be available on the Kindle e-reader unless Amazon starts offering a more generous revenue split and more publisher-friendly policies.

Murdoch acknowledged that the Journal recently negotiated a slightly larger share of the revenues Amazon gets from selling Kindle subscriptions to the paper, "but it's not a big number, and we're not encouraging it at all because we don't get the names of the subscribers," he said. "Kindle treats them as their subscribers, not as ours, and I think that will eventually cause a break with us."

Jeff Bezos, consider yourself warned.

On the call, News Corp. announced adjusted full-year operating income of $3.6 billion, a 32 percent year-over-year decline largely attributable to the advertising recession afflicting print and broadcast television. Much of the call was devoted to News Corp.'s intensive drive to get consumers to pay directly for digital content of all kinds. Murdoch revealed that the company plans to introduce pay models for all its news websites by the end of the next fiscal year. Moreover, he said that it won't be only the newspaper sites that adopt this change; foxnews.com, he said, will also start charging for content. "It has a huge and loyal and profitable [web] audience already," he said.

"As I've said before, the traditional business model has to change rapidly to ensure that our journalistic businesses can return to their old margins of profitability," Murdoch said. "Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting."

Other highlights from the call:

-Murdoch on this year's television advertising: "We're doing well, or we think we're doing well, on the pricing, but we'll probably keep more back for the spot market than last year....There's money around. I'm not saying there's a vast recovery or anything like that, but we are in the process of reaching understandings with a lot of advertisers."

-On whether News Corp. will develop its own e-reader to compete with the Kindle: "We're not in the hardware business."

-On rumors that Guardian Media Group may close the Observer: "I did read that document that went to the staff of the Guardian that swore allegiance everlastingly to the Guardian but said nothing about the Observer. I think I made the same conclusions as everybody."

-On whether News Corp. would buy the Observer: "Hell no. Why?"

Re:Story link to DailyFinance.com article (5, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989959)

So it sounds like, as expected, he doesn't want the contact info of every Kindle owner - just the ones who subscribe to the WSJ. This doesn't exactly seem like an outrageous request. He'd have this info if you had to buy the subscription directly from the WSJ rather than through Amazon. It's just a matter of bargaining with Amazon for a bigger slice of the revenue.

Re:Story link to DailyFinance.com article (5, Insightful)

cob666 (656740) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990175)

He'd have this info if you had to buy the subscription directly from the WSJ rather than through Amazon.

Yes, but he wouldn't have this information if you walked into a book store and bought the paper from them, even if you bought the paper every single day which seems closer to how the Kindle process works.

Re:Story link to DailyFinance.com article (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990207)

Yea, sounds like amazon is trying to prevent him from pitching directly to his customers.

This is a serious issue for internet business: old school news media has a shocking amount of manpower compared to what internet business is used to, so they're perfectly capable of approaching all those people with offers for extra services outside of Amazon's channel, or, more likely, using that geo-demographic data to pitch subscriptions to those areas. They already have the resources they'd need to do that.

Remember, this is the WSJ, among others, that they're talking about. That paper does home delivery all over the country. Selling e-subscriptions is trivial by comparison.

Re:Story link to DailyFinance.com article (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990289)

Yeah but the reason I buy from amazon is that I only have to trust that one very trustworthy vendor. Only Amazon has my card info and my address. If I want to buy a book, that doesn't mean that some random bookstore in North Dakota now has my personal information.. it's all handled through a trusted party.

Goebbels, take notes you piker (4, Insightful)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989997)

Moreover, he said that it won't be only the newspaper sites that adopt this change; foxnews.com, he said, will also start charging for content. "It has a huge and loyal and profitable [web] audience already," he said.

Now hes CHARGING us for his bullshit propaganda? Jeeeeeeeeez.......

Re:Goebbels, take notes you piker (4, Insightful)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990083)

Now hes CHARGING us for his bullshit propaganda? Jeeeeeeeeez.......

Am I the only one that thinks this is a good thing? The grumpy generation of naysayers will die out with a loud, painful scream as they refuse to cooperate, even on the basic level, with the new information generation.

Re:Goebbels, take notes you piker (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990293)

Yea, because all the people who already pay a cable bill that's probably 50 bucks at least are going to refuse to pay some trivial fee to use foxnews.com, if they use it at all.

Don't treat it like asking for any money is a recipe for sure disaster. No one has made it work yet, but, arguably, no one has ever tried hard. And, unlike the last time they tried to charge, now everyone knows what's available online, and there will be people who will be willing to pay.

Moreover, from a different revenue standpoint, they can use the pay barrier to justify raising the costs for their advertisements, because they'll have a much better demographic picture of who is and isn't visiting their site.

Re:Goebbels, take notes you piker (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990193)

The WSJ is a very high quality newspaper. One of the few and the only major paper that has had drastic cut backs in staffing and still does substantial research.

Murdoch is a jerk but the WSJ deserves respect as a great paper

Re:Story link to DailyFinance.com article (5, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990027)

Dear Mr. Murdoch:

Please accept this letter in the full spirit that it is intended. You opined, "Kindle treats them as their subscribers, not as ours, and I think that will eventually cause a break with us" to which I wish to sincerely respond:

Fuck you.
Signed,
Jeff Bozos

Re:Story link to DailyFinance.com article (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28990109)

The Wall Street Journal will cease to be available on the Kindle e-reader unless Amazon starts offering a more generous revenue split and more publisher-friendly policies.

The Kindle can retroactively remove content that readers have paid for. How much more publisher friendly is he wanting? Is he wanting a hand job with every copy sold?

Re:Story link to DailyFinance.com article (2, Insightful)

arose (644256) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990163)

"As I've said before, the traditional business model has to change rapidly to ensure that our journalistic businesses can return to their old margins of profitability," Murdoch said. "Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting."

Profit is not what pays for the journalism so that makes no sense. Also, if you don't want to play on the free market (where profit, theoretically, is supposed to head to zero because of competition) then... well, I guess then you alter the views of the people by using mass media to put yourself as the king and ruler instead of a market player, but he'd never do that.

Re:Story link to DailyFinance.com article (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990287)

It also makes no sense because this is Rupert Murdoch, worldwide kingpin of yellow journalism, we are talking about. Since when has he cared about quality journalism or good reporting?

Re:Story link to DailyFinance.com article (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990317)

"'As I've said before, the traditional business model has to change rapidly to ensure that our journalistic businesses can return to their old margins of profitability,'

Those old margins are gone. Sorry Rupert.
OK, I am not sorry.

Why do you need the names of your subscribers?

"foxnews.com, he said, will also start charging for content. "It has a huge and loyal and profitable [web] audience already," he said."
wait, didn't you jst say it wasn't and that's why you are going to start charging?

I hope Bezos calls his bluff and gives him the finger. What, Murdoch is going to toss the current Kindle income out the window?

Ah so they finally updated the story (3, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989905)

For those of you joining late, for the first few minutes the Slashdot story didn't link to the Daily Finance story.

Re:Link? (2, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989991)

Maybe Murdoch ate the link?

Murdoch represents the old business model and has a hard time to understand new approaches.

New models are tried out all the time, but unfortunately some are too intrusive which produces counter-measures like AdBlock Plus. The upcoming generation is used to get news and everything in short snaps online, via SMS and on TV. The old media as newspapers are can survive only if they find the right model that attracts both old and new readers.

It will be painful, and anyone failing to adapt will die. Murdoch seems to have a hard time to adapt, and he may well lose unless he finds things that can attract people enough to buy the newspapers.

what no link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28989771)

This story doesn't have a story?

In other news. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28989775)

In other news, Rupert Murdoch is buying another 60 meter yacht in which he will eat pounds of caviar and fucking Crystal. Because everything else tastes like piss.

Story link? (0, Redundant)

chalker (718945) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989777)

No link to a story?

Re:Story link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28989841)

And for some reason the tagging system won't let you tag !story, which would be the most appropriate tag here.

Re:Story link? (5, Informative)

silmarilwest (724433) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989867)

Here's one. [dailyfinance.com]
Would have been helpful to include in the original article.

Re:Story link? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990199)

I know we should never excuse ignorance for malice but in this case, I think it was malice. IT appears what he said doesn't match the story summery.

Who the hell is Rupert Murdoch? (0)

GravityStar (1209738) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989787)

I could look it up, but I want to emphasize first just _how_ antiquated the man is.

Re:Who the hell is Rupert Murdoch? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989891)

Also, he has a supervillain-style name. And, hmm [wikimedia.org] .

Re:Who the hell is Rupert Murdoch? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990159)

"Rupert Murdoch is a Persian cat and a monocle away from being the villain in a James Bond movie." - Dennis Miller

OK, so his original joke was about Bill Gates, and Elliot Carver was actually the name of the character portraying Rupert Murdoch in "Tomorrow Never Dies", but it's all the same sad-but-true joke anyway. Rupert Murdoch really is trying to take over the world.

Re:Who the hell is Rupert Murdoch? (2, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990079)

He may be old, and he may be singing a tune you don't like, but he was old when he decided to change the media business, and he did. Massively and permanently. The changes may suck, or may not, but pretending it's pretty naive to think that because he is old, or doesn't do things the way you want, it follows that he is weak and ineffectual. He is neither.

Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28989793)

How long have we been doing this dance? Still don't know the steps?

Incomplete summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28989795)

Uhhh want to include a link to the referenced article?

Could we have a link? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28989799)

Could we have a link to somewhere that actually posts this alleged request that Rupert Murdoch supposedly made? I've seen the quote in the summary before but I'd really like some source for the alleged request besides the summary of a slashdot posting.

Re:Could we have a link? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989957)

Someone else posted this link [dailyfinance.com] but I'm not sure it is what the story submission is about. In that page, Murdoch mentions the names as Amazon is treating subscriptions to the WSJ on the kindle as their customers and not the Wall Street Journals. As for the names, it makes sense in this light because if those customers were to access the Wall street journal by any other subscription method, the WSJ would have their information already.

So I guess the question might be- does Amazon resell the WSJ as a VAR or are they just allowing subscriptions and a conduit to the regular paper.

Re:Could we have a link? (2, Insightful)

Sl4shd0t0rg (810273) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990019)

Agreed... From what I read, he just wants the name of the Kindle users subscribing to WSJ. He is not asking for the information of ALL Kindle users. Which, if you subscribe to WSJ using the traditional method, wouldn't they have your information anyway? I don't think they want any information other than the normal subsciber data they would have otherwise.

Quality journalism really isn't cheap (5, Funny)

basementman (1475159) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989813)

Quality journalism really isn't cheap, Slashdot can't even bother to link to an actual source for any of this information.

Re:Quality journalism really isn't cheap (4, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989949)

It's not cheap, actually, but the majority of the costs right now are attached to the print business: printing, delivery, sales and support staff. Those things cost dramatically more than a bunch of journalists making less than the national average salary.

Mind you, print costs alone aren't the problem. Hiring a few dozen staff members who do nothing but write is still extremely expensive, and that assumes no lawsuits, no hotel bills, no mileage, no FOIA printing charges, etc.

I think the print news model will likely stablize on a payment model; some kind of microtransaction thing, or a very modest subscription cost. People say, "No one will ever pay for what they can get now, for free" but that same argument would have doomed cable television, and cable is alive and well.

Murdoch, as big a prick as he is, is doing the industry a favor by bringing this up. Eventually the "all free" thing is going to ebb away. Too many services, popular services, are bringing in massive traffic, and still unable to make a profit. It's going to have to change.

The Rotten Bastard's right (4, Insightful)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990151)

(don't mean you, SatanicPuppy, I mean Murdoch). The Rotten Bastard's right - quality journalism costs money. The "I can get anything for free, so why should I pay" ethos (in my opinion) leads to watered down crap being offered for free. People cannot make a living off "Free". Look at what we have now - 'free' news sources that don't give us much news but give us a whole lotta opinion masquerading as news (blogs, anyone?). It costs nothing to post your opinion based off of factoids gleaned from other sources, without even considering bias. But to produce honest-to-Gawd news? That's a quality product, produced by professionals who know how to separate fact from bias, and how to tell the difference between the two? That is worth money. The Genocidal Tyrant's completely within his rights to demand that Amazon give him an increased percentage of profits PLUS the names and contact info of all the WSJ subscribers through the Kindle. He should have them anyway. The WSJ has not suffered any decrease in quality - it's political bent is well known but the Rotten Bastard actually kept one of his promises and continued to support its journalistic integrity. I was worried as everyone else when he bought it, but then I was surprised to learn that the WSJ actually increased its quality. I don't read the WSJ for its opinions, I read it because I want good, factual business news that cuts through all the BS and tells it as it is. And that costs money. Furthermore (in my opinion), we need to face facts: In order to get good quality journalism, we have to PAY for it. Journalism was always supported by Print advertising. Now, it's going to be supported by pay-to-view websites. Free only lasts a while in an economic boom (anyone remember the dot-com rush where EVERYTHING was free), then reality sets in and you have to pay for what you get. And I will be happy to pay for it. I will pay for honest, high quality journalism (I already do), as long as I get my money's worth.

Re:Quality journalism really isn't cheap (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990203)

that same argument would have doomed cable television, and cable is alive and well.

Back in the day, cable offered more channels with less advertising and focused content. The current mess took 20+ years to happen.

Re:Quality journalism really isn't cheap (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990245)

Or they could just GTFO the internet instead of trying to ruin it for everyone.

Quality Journalism? (5, Funny)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989819)

What does Rupert Murdoch, of all people, know about Quality Journalism?

Re:Quality Journalism? (5, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989869)

I was just about to post this... Everything he controls is pure blather and bustle. I hope he starts 'charging' so he can find out how much people truly value his sputem.

Re:Quality Journalism? (0, Troll)

antirelic (1030688) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990037)

WTF. Is this slashdot or dailkos? Can posts have a semblance of unbias? How the fuck did this get published?

Re:Quality Journalism? (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990111)

Right, because if you're against one entertainment "news" network, you're obviously in favor of their competitor. I commend your logic.

Re:Quality Journalism? (1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990051)

What does Rupert Murdoch, of all people, know about Quality Journalism?

Who cares? He's got lots of money, and he can (try) to do whatever he wants.

Rupert Merdoch [wikipedia.org]

No link, but.... (4, Funny)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989859)

WTG Slashdot! At first I thought a story that was posted without a link or attribution of source was a mistake. But then I realized it's really just a super-subtle acknowledgment of John Hughes' passing....

"My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Rupert Murdoch pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious."

News Reporter to News Maker (1)

djnewman (1318661) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989873)

Murdoch is constantly grandstanding! If it wasn't for the Simpsons, I'd be able to ignore Fox completely!

Re:News Reporter to News Maker (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990077)

Also:

Family Guy
American Dad
House
Fringe
Joss Whedon's Dollhouse
Glenn Beck
Rachel Maddow

Re:News Reporter to News Maker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28990237)

What's the connection between Murdoch/Fox and Rachel Maddow? Is there something I'm unaware of?

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28989887)

Why Rupert Murdoch would suddenly care about "good reporting" is anyone's guess.

No Link Dammit (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989911)

There is plenty of related stuff out on the internet that gives credibility to this.

And this sort of malarkey is why I'm not buying one of these any time soon.

Re:No Link Dammit (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990071)

Actually, the story is misleading. Murdock has stated [dailyfinance.com] he wanted more revenue from Amazon and complained that Amazon treat readers of the Wall Street Journal as their customers and not the WSJ's. He said we don't even get their names.

Like it or not, current subscriptions to almost any news site outside of on the Kindle gives them the names of the subscribers which can be a revenue stream from marketing and so on. He didn't exactly say he wanted the names, he was using the lack of getting the names as reasoning to why he wanted more money.

He can have my user info... (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989917)

...after which I will send my Kindle back to amazon for a full refund. If necessary I'll invoke VISA's help to charge it back. It wasn't part of the contract for amazon to erase my 1984 book off my kindle, or to reveal my info to third party assholes. I can tolerate some things but this passes the line.

Aside-

I mentioned elsewhere that amazon is holding ~$500 of my sales as a seller in limbo. Well a day after I said that publicly they immediately refunded the money, but still kept $79 for themselves. I eventually tracked-down the reason - an asshole woman in California bought a Zenith DTV box from me, and even though I already provided Amazon with proof-of-delivery, they decided to keep the $79 and refund it back to this woman. So she successfully stole my property, with amazon's help.

Grrr. I'm really starting to hate amazon.

I don't know what happened to you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28990127)

I once ordered a book from Amazon. It never showed - even though the postal service said it was delivered. I jumped through all their (Amazon's) hoops and they made good on it.

To this day I don't know what happened. Usually, the carriers - UPS, USPS, Fedex - just leave the package on the front stoop that's visible from the road. I that woman lived in a shitty part of town, some asshole could very well have lifted it; especially, if you shipped it in a box with big letters on it saying "Zenith DTV".

Even then, you had proof and I believe if Amazon is going to act as a market place (and charge their obscene sales fees), they should have dealt with it better.

What's the deal with Slashdot's captcha entry field? I can't click on it to move the cursor there - I have to tab over! Geeze guys: that and the ridiculously slow loading to the submit screen ....

Re:He can have my user info... (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990143)

eBay does the same thing. Friend sells PC, man gets it and gives positive feedback. Man disposes of PC. Man asks friend for money back because PC broken. Friend asks for PC back to check it. Man tells friend he's dumped it. Man asks eBay for money back. eBay gives money back. Friend tries to get money back from paypal as he's now out of pocket. eBay refuses to answer questions/refund money. Friend can do nothing about it. Friend stops using eBay.

Amazon/eBay have millions of customers and can afford to piss off loads before it becomes a problem for them.

Re:He can have my user info... (0, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990301)

>>>Man asks eBay for money back. eBay gives money back

What you just described is impossible. First off, ebay doesn't handle money so they can't refund anything. Second, paypal doesn't refund money back to a customer until AFTER the personal computer was returned to the seller (with proof-of-delivery).

Re:He can have my user info... (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990167)

I know it's hard to RTFA when they didn't even provide a link [dailyfinance.com] . I think the story is taking some creative licenses with what Murdoch has said.

"Murdoch acknowledged that the Journal recently negotiated a slightly larger share of the revenues Amazon gets from selling Kindle subscriptions to the paper, "but it's not a big number, and we're not encouraging it at all because we don't get the names of the subscribers," he said. "Kindle treats them as their subscribers, not as ours, and I think that will eventually cause a break with us."

Is what he said and it appears to me that he is using that fact as a bargaining step to get more of the revenue model. It's no secrete that if you subscribe to the WSJ either in print of online directly, they have your names and can used those for marketing research and other ways to profit directly or to maximize their own profit. In this case, I'm thinking they just want a larger share of the profits and brought the lack of names up as a bargaining position.

Re:He can have my user info...A LITTLE CONFLICTED (2, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990177)

...after which I will send my Kindle back to amazon for a full refund. If necessary I'll invoke VISA's help to charge it back. It wasn't part of the contract for amazon to erase my 1984 book off my kindle, or to reveal my info to third party assholes. I can tolerate some things but this passes the line.
...
This video reveals Obama's Real Agenda in his own words - foxnews.com/video2/video08.html?maven_referralObject=7478735

A little conflicted here, are we?

Re:He can have my user info... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28990209)

I love how youre complaining about Murdoch yet you have a Fox News link in your sig. Hilarious!

So what? (4, Insightful)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989927)

I can see why he expects this information... he's a publisher who's spent the lion's share of his career dealing in print media. If people were subscribing to the dead-tree edition of the Journal, he would have not just their names but their home addresses and probably phone numbers as well. Now subscribers want to pay for the same publication--the Wall Street Journal--and the publisher expects to have the same information they would if they were sending the physical newspaper. What's the big deal? Just cause something is delivered electronically rather than via the post, that makes basic subscriber information suddenly privacy-threatening?

I'm as paranoid about privacy concerns as the next [rational] person, but I don't see what the big deal is here.

Re:So what? (4, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990023)

Except in this case, they aren't subscribers. They are the folks that buy a copy from a reseller before hopping on the L to head to work. And Murdoc has never had the names, addresses, or any other information about those people.

-Rick

Re:So what? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990233)

Good analogy. In effect Mr. Murdoch is demanding that the newsstand operators (7-11, MiniMart, amazon, et cetera) collect user information, and pass it back to him. This is something new that has never happened before.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28990107)

I can see why he expects this information... he's a publisher who's spent the lion's share of his career dealing in print media. If people were subscribing to the dead-tree edition of the Journal, he would have not just their names but their home addresses and probably phone numbers as well. Now subscribers want to pay for the same publication--the Wall Street Journal--and the publisher expects to have the same information they would if they were sending the physical newspaper. What's the big deal? Just cause something is delivered electronically rather than via the post, that makes basic subscriber information suddenly privacy-threatening?

I'm as paranoid about privacy concerns as the next [rational] person, but I don't see what the big deal is here.

And what about all those customers who purchase their papers from newsstands or vending machines? Do they have to turn over their personal information? No. Could you picture him contacting the newsstand operators and telling them that they now have to collect and send to him the name, address, telephone number, and credit card info on anyone who buys the paper at their store?

Amazon is not your friend. Their customer service is pure shit. But Mr. Murdoch is an idiot.

Re:So what? (1)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990215)

> And what about all those customers who purchase their papers from newsstands or vending machines? Do they have to turn over their personal information? No

They are not subscribers, so your argument is baseless. Subscribers are people who have an ongoing relationship with the publication.

Re:So what? (5, Insightful)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990133)

The dead-tree publishers have your address so they can deliver their product to you. They may have your phone number as well so they can contact you concerning their product. The electronic publisher has your IP address so they can deliver the product to you and they might have your email address so they can contact you concerning the product.

Murdock doesn't need or deserve any additional demographic information concerning his subscribers. He already has all that he needs. He's asking for additional information above and beyond what is required to conduct the transaction. That's the big deal.

I too can see why he expects this information - he's old and living in the fantasy of world passed by.

Re:So what? (1)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990315)

That's a fine argument on its face, but do you really expect all information (name, address, phone) gathered from dead-tree subscribers will ONLY be used for the purposes of distributing the newspaper? I would expect the Journal to treat my personal information with the same privacy policy stipulations as applies to that gathered on behalf of their print newspaper. If they are not, they need to say so in a EULA or whatever.

Also, if you have ever subscribed to a magazine or newspaper online, you will see that they collect LOTS of additional information about you that has nothing to do with simple delivery. They gather that data because they NEED and USE it to distinguish their readers' demographics from those of other publications, which helps them sell advertising, which keeps them in business. If you think you can run a magazine or newspaper solely on subscriptions, you know nothing about the industry.

Murdoch may be a dick, but his expectation of subscriber information from Amazon is not unreasonable. GIving them ultimatums is, but that's another issue.

Re:So what? (1)

surmak (1238244) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990191)

When you have a subscription to a (dead tree) newspaper, they need your contact info in order to fulfill the delivery to you. In the case of the Kindle, Amazon handles the order fulfillment, and the content provider simply gets a cut.

In a way, it is a lot like a newsstand. Anyone can come in off the street, drop their dollar and walk out with a paper. The publisher does not know who the ultimate consumer is, but simply sells it to the reseller. It is even possible for a newsstand owner to hold a copy of the paper for a customer (who perhaps has prepaid).

So, the real question what metaphor do we use. Is Amazon a newsstand, or are they more like the post office is a traditional subscription model. In the case of the post office, the publisher has to know who the end user is, but in the case of the newsstand, they do not.

Re:So what? (1)

Kwelstr (114389) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990223)

--If people were subscribing to the dead-tree edition of the Journal, he would have not just their names but their home addresses and probably phone numbers as well. Now subscribers want to pay for the same publication--the Wall Street Journal--and the publisher expects to have the same information they would if they were sending the physical newspaper.--

Ok, consider this: I stopped subscribing to ANY publication several years ago due to the constant and relentless offers I was getting. In my view, they were abusing my personal info, so I stopped them. It took a good couple of years for the offers to stop. It would make a big difference to me personally if I could subscribe and remain anonymous. But that's just me, heh.

What the fuss is about (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28989941)

Apparently, he's upset that Kindle users can subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, but the subscriber information is not passed back to News Corp. so the subscription has less marketing value.

So, is that the excuse for Fox News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28989971)

"'As I've said before, the traditional business model has to change rapidly to ensure that our journalistic businesses can return to their old margins of profitability,' Murdoch said. 'Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting.'"

Is it because they are a cheap news agency and they can't provide quality reporting? Is that why their [thecarpetb...report.com] viewers [thinkprogress.org] continuously rank at the bottom of the most uninformed TV news viewers? Oh wait, don't you own them? Hm, odd. So we should presume that, if you are given more money, that money would go into providing "quality reporting" and make the Fox News viewers more knowledgeable right?

For some reason I cannot see that happening.

after reading the article.... (5, Informative)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989973)

It looks to me like he is not requesting every kindle users info (as the headline suggests). But he is requesting that when a user subscribes to The Wall Street Journal via a kindle, they are a customer of TWSJ and not Amazon. Sounds reasonable to me. That way the user could change devices and keep their subscriptions.

Re:after reading the article.... (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990271)

There's pros and cons to that, I think. There are downsides to a central administrator like Amazon, because they can corner the market, anything that sucks now sucks uniformly, etc. But there are also upsides: you don't have every random publisher and individual you purchase something from processing your credit-card number, you don't have to individually route disputes through each of them, etc.

Yet another reason to avoid a Kindle (1)

willoughby (1367773) | more than 4 years ago | (#28989987)

Are there any non-predatory e-book readers available?

Re:Yet another reason to avoid a Kindle (5, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990135)

Sony is usually held as an example of a consumer-friendly, trustworthy corporation.

Re:Yet another reason to avoid a Kindle (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990321)

The sony one actually is pretty non predatory, which is unusal for sony.
And the build quality is excellent with its aluminium case and fortified glass display.

Summary wrong, as usual. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990011)

He says he wants info on Kindle users who subscribe to his paper via Amazon. Not quite "hand over user info for all Kindle users".

Hooray, Rupert! (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990099)

I love this gem in the article:

Moreover, he said that it won't be only the newspaper sites that adopt this change; foxnews.com, he said, will also start charging for content.

You go, Rupert. Making Faux News a subscription site. Thank you! And, hey, don't forget to jack your rates on cable providers, too. I'd really stick it to those freeloaders.

Bias Anyone? (3, Funny)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990113)

In yet another move to display how antiquated and completely ignorant of digital culture he is...

I expect this kind of bias from slashdot comments, but when the articles themselves are slanted...
Let us formulate our own opinions before you shove yours down our throat.

Returning to their old margins of profitability... (1)

Dalzhim (1588707) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990123)

"to ensure that our journalistic businesses can return to their old margins of profitability" Rupert Murdoch really is an ignorant fool. How is making the industry "as profitable as it was before" related to the quality of information? According to what he says himself, they are still profitable, just not as much as they were before. So what should we expect from a more profitable industry? A better product? Or better revenue for the shareholders? So if he says he's going to improve the profitability, either he plans on keeping the quality the same as it is right now while increasing the price to access this content, or he's planning to cut on the quality while maintaining the prices. The fact he's saying he'll improve on the quality of the content by restoring the old profitability level is either A) A lie B) An inacceptable mistake in public communications C) A proof that we can't expect quality content from a company who can't produce quality propaganda.

Article links (3, Insightful)

Anna Merikin (529843) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990181)

http://paidcontent.org/article/419-murdoch-sees-eventual-break-with-amazon-over-kindle-active-talks-with-s/ [paidcontent.org]
http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/08/05/murdochs-ultimatum-to-amazon-give-us-the-names-or-else/ [dailyfinance.com]

This is very disappointing...both because of the hyped-up /. summary and the overreaction of some of the media to his statements, made as a response to a question in a telephone news conference largely about News Corps.' financial side.

A former journalism teacher of mine prohibited the use of adjectives and to the word "I" outside quotation marks in news stories. Taking the /. summary as an example, we are left with nothing but a (relatively) reasonable quotation from someone (Murdoch) who has already spoken about this.

This summary is *wrong* on so many levels. It has severely overhyped the event and set up a straw man in that Murdoch speculated about asking Amazon for his subscribers' info but has not yet done so.

And where is /.'s moderation? How in the world did this ever get published on /.? Has /. become Digg?

I would be worried too if I was Rupert Murdoch (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28990243)

1) Your current system of distribution is antiquated.
2) Your overhead is way higher then that of a company that could poach your writers, pay them more, and still have a higher level of profit.
3) Your alternative sources of revenue (reselling consumers information, gathering statistics, polling info for your subscribers) shifts to another vendor that is actually innovative (Amazon)
4) You are caught in mid-stride supporting a old system and new system at the same time even lower profits.
5) You could piss off the wrong people and get your revenue share reduced or a competing paper get higher priority / advertising inside amazon

Right now Amazon is trying to get off the ground... but in a couple years the power should shift from the product source to the distribution chain.
Amazon & Apple could grow to be the next RIAA.

Basically Rupert is a publisher without control of his distribution chain.

Scary Steve Jobs (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 4 years ago | (#28990267)

Steve Jobs (via Itunes) has inserted Apple in the recording industry's supply chain. That gives Apple significant power over the recording industry. (Admittedly Jobs has more common sense than the whole recording industry combined - but that's irrelevant to my point).

Murdoch does not want Jim Bezos to beoome a similarly powerful intermediary in the news industry. Which means he'll either have to create his own e-reader device / software or somehow split distribution between Amazon and others (Sony?) and HOPE that Amazon doesn't end up dominating the market the way Apple dominates e-music distribution.

Personally, I think the news industry has FAR bigger problems than Amazon.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...