News Disruption and Digital Content


06 Mar News Disruption and Digital Content

News Disruption – market challenges, opportunities and legal issues for digital content

The news market is changing gears. The Turnbull government in Australia is proposing law reform to both media ownership laws and copyright law and the UK government is continuing to consult on media plurality extending to online content. The Independent (UK) is moving to a digital-only publication and other news providers are expanding globally via digital-only editions, such as The Guardian (Australia). Traditional news media seems finally to be catching up to digital news pioneer The Huffington Post. However, monetising digital news and legally protecting it to retain value remain material challenges for online news ventures.

The challenges of widely disbursed digital news content for traditional media players is well understood, and reflected in significant value decline in their traditional media assets – classified advertising is in a death spiral. To effectively monetise news, both traditional media and digital media rely on scale… yet the audience is now highly fragmented across multiple news sources available on multiple devices, where paid content competes with free content and where original content very often competes with its copied form.



Are there lessons to be learned from the recent changes in the news market? We think so and they appear to lie in three key areas – (i) the nature of online content, (ii) multi-platform bundled offerings, and (iii) agile risk management strategies that extend to technology-assisted enforcement of legal rights. 

Lisa Fitzgerald looks at some of these lessons and some of the legal issues to be aware of below.



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