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Content Aware media news: March 21, 2024

The new normal of technology in the dock sees Apple become the latest to fall into the judicial vortex.

Published: 09:03, 22 March 2024
Apple becomes the latest tech titan to see its business model under the legal microscope

All eyes turn New Jersey-ward today at news the DoJ's Merrick Garland has launched a massive suit against Apple for - he says - illegally propping up a monopoly on smartphones. He's joined by a minibus full of State Attorney Generals to make this even more of a payday for Apple's lawyers.

It's as eye-catching a case as has yet been launched against The Technical Dominators, second only to the one which might break up Google.

Without going into the merits of the case, it strikes me that it is just the latest in our new normal: Big Tech against The Law. 

I would wonder what if any activity core to the business of AI/Big Social/Big Search is not now under intense scrutiny. 

Even chip-maker Nvidia is now facing legal challenges over allegations of stolen content being used to train its tech.

Law, and lawsuits, have quickly become the preferred way of forcing guardrails around the activities of tech giants old and emerging. OpenAI has surely set some record for how many suits it has racked up in its short life.

From your seat in publishing, what conversations have you had with legal experts that inform you of your position? If this is the new normal, and vast sums are at stake, are you informed of your rights and pathways forward?

While SEO have been key figures in your armoury for decades, media IP lawyers have quickly come more front and centre than ever.

Anyway, on with this week's Content Aware...

Sandbox fury
Google's Privacy Sandbox is increasingly seen as a front for a data grab by Google, already raised as a concern by the UK competition regulator the CMA. Jim Edwards' investigation shows why many small publishers have the same fear, and that Privacy Sandbox is a disaster waiting to happen.

Choices, what choices
Let's say you did not use Privacy Sandbox, what alternatives are there?

Apple falling from the tree
The US Department of Justice has opened up another front in its ongoing series of suits against major tech firms, this time accusing Apple of illegal tactics to sustain a monopoly in the smartphone sector. It was only a couple of weeks ago that the EU fined Apple €1.8bn, and the impact of this case could be much greater.

Zut alors, hand over le cash
France has never been shy of levying fines against Google for what it deems to be breaches; here's another €250m into the pot, this time for not adhering to agreements made with content owners and publishers over content use and credits. Are your legal authorities doing as much for you as France's seem to be doing for its media and content businesses?

Feline good about the things which make you special
The internet has always been about cats. Our whisker-stroker in chief Rob purrs in this tale of a lost moggy which provides a lesson to publishers in how to cut through the noisy irrelevance common to much socially-surfaced media.

Unfit for purpose
If you find navigating Google Search Console a bit of a nightmare, turns out it's not just you, it might actually just be a shambles.

Have your cake and EEAT it
Good insight into some of the finer details of what EEAT is, and what you can dial up to improve your credibility and standing. For this week anyway.

Trust and how to get it
A walkthrough on what can make a site 'reliable' - in content terms that is, not uptime. Behold the semi-secret Wikipedia page that lists trustworthy sites.

Computer human says no
And how does Google rank site quality and reliability? Who better to ask than a human rater, one of the team who have spent years giving sites the thumbs up or down for search results ratings.

SEO success, guaranteed!
As countless sites struggle mid-rollout of another Google algorithm, one site in particular shows some startling positive results. Just to rub salt in, other Google-owned sites (for it is they...) are showing some equally impressive gains. Just a coincidence!

Buyers vs subscribers
Looking to diversify revenue streams from your content and audiences? Here's some insight into the growing range of initiatives news publishers have found strike the right note with readers and listeners.

Facebook and fiction
Hot on the heels of Facebook essentially casting news into the bin, is a consequence. Stanford's lengthy report into spam and scam content on the social media platform can be tl;dr-d as "Facebook feeds = junk content". If there's nothing worth staying for, why stick around?

ChatGPT is the most thiefy of AI content thieves, according to this study. Like Ron Burgundy's favourite aftershave, 60% of the time it would extensively reproduce copyrighted content verbatim.

DMCA-grade copyright law
If traditional copyright law is not doing the job in lawsuits against AI firms for copyright infringements, other more modern laws might be better suited to the job, viz the use of the DMCA in some recently filed US cases. Publishers are quickly becoming more abreast of the many subtleties of copyright law so keep your eyes on these sort of developments.

Subs vs revenue - the battle for tomorrow
Pinning your business hopes on more subs, or more revenue, can be a real challenge for a publisher - they don't always lead to the result you want. Here's some insight into experiences from those who had to decide one way or the other.

Never trust a reporter without a pencil
Can ChatGPT report on events and become a journalist in disguise? No, according to this laborious attempt to teach it to do so.

Dog eating its own tail
Google AI will become more like search, which will become more like AI, according to the new head of search at the firm. What room is left for those making new content, we wonder.

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