Murdoch doesn't understand links....

Which means he doesn't understand the web (and the net)

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  1. Rupert Murdoch started last night going after the White House for backing off SOPA's attempt to change the architecture of the net for the sake of the entertainment (that is, Murdoch's) industry. 
  2. Then he escalated, accusing Google of piracy: that is of theft. 
  3. Now this makes no sense, of course. Google does not pirate or serve pirated content and certainly doesn't sell advertising on it. The next morning, after receiving a tutorial, apparently, Murdoch returned to explain:
  4. Ah, so he thinks that by linking to sites that enable downloads, Google is doing that. I'm reminded of a focus group I held in Cleveland in 1995, in which the participants thought all the content on this internet came from a company called Netscape. Murdoch blames Google for anything it links to. He apparently wants it to not link to anything he doesn't like. He doesn't understand the link. But he thinks he does:
  5. There's a pattern here. In his war against aggregation of news by the likes of Google, his henchmen -- some of whom have since had to leave the company in the hacking scandal -- gave all sorts of disreputable labels to Google, which Arianna Huffington helpfully aggregated in testimony before the FTC: 

    "So now sites that aggregate the news have become, in the words of Rupert Murdoch and his team, 'parasites,' 'content kleptomaniacs,' 'vampires,' 'tech tapeworms in the intestines of the Internets,' and, of course, thieves who 'steal all our copyright.'"

    You see, Murdoch is against more than just piracy. He is against the fundamental architecture of the web and the net. He cannot see past old models of owning content and selling it and cannot see new ways to make money through using content to generate signals about people and built relationships with them to target higher-value, relevant content, services, and advertising. Facebook understand that. Google and Twitter and Foursquare understand that. Murdoch does not. That's why MySpace failed. That's why Murdoch's earlier internet efforts -- starting with Delphi, where I briefly served as head of content -- went through millions of dollars: because he thinks the content business is about products -- as it used to be -- not people -- as it is now. 

    Murdoch doesn't hate Google. He still doesn't understand it. 
  6. LATER: Murdoch's war continues the next day, in the morning afterglow of the Golden Globes:
  7. He's sounding very much like General Motors, making widgets, not speech or art. 
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