I turned my Boing Boing post about Murdoch’s mad pronouncements on the Internet into a column for the Guardian, called “For whom the net tolls.”
What, exactly, is Rupert Murdoch thinking? First, he announces that all of Newscorp’s websites will erect paywalls like the one employed by the Wall Street Journal (however, Rupert managed to get the details of the WSJ’s wall wrong – no matter, he’s a “big picture” guy). Then, he announced that Google and other search engines were “plagiarists” who “rip off” Newscorp’s content, and that once the paywalls are up (a date that keeps slipping farther into the future, almost as though the best IT people work for someone who’s not Rupert “I Hate the Net” Murdoch!) he’ll be blocking Google and the other “parasites” from his sites, making all of Newscorp’s properties invisible to search engines. Then, as a kind of loonie cherry atop a banana split with extra crazy sauce, Rupert announces that “fair use is illegal” and he’ll be abolishing it shortly.
What is he thinking? We’ll never know, of course, but I have a theory.