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Murdoch Demands Kindle Users' Info 433

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the another-in-a-long-line-of-bad-decisions dept.
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.'"
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Murdoch Demands Kindle Users' Info

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  • Link? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 07, 2009 @03:46PM (#28989765)

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

    • by davidwr (791652) on Friday August 07, 2009 @03:50PM (#28989825) Homepage Journal

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

      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:03PM (#28989985) Journal

        6101 5823 0090 5121
        EXP 01/10 CVV number 876

        Okay now please forward a link to to my email address. Thank you.

      • by demachina (71715) on Friday August 07, 2009 @07:22PM (#28992041)

        Since when has any member of the Murdoch media empire ever engaged in "Quality journalism". This is the owner of Fox News who went to a court of appeals to affirm their right to force their journalists to lie in their broadcasts. This is the owner of the network which, in the weeks before the invasion of Iraq, ran stories that Saddam had drones he was planning to use to spray chemical and biological weapons on American cities.

        Granted the WSJ is probably still doing useful reporting, I don't think Rupert has managed to infect it with his spin machine.... yet.

        • ... oxymoron ,,,

          Murdoch said. 'Quality journalism is not cheap

          ... here, let me fix it for Mr. Murdoch ...

          "Murdoch said. 'Quality journalism is not cheap, but I am. Step 1. Profit! There IS no step 2 ..."

    • Re:Link? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Jurily (900488) <jurily@NETBSDgmail.com minus bsd> on Friday August 07, 2009 @03:52PM (#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.

    • by davidwr (791652) on Friday August 07, 2009 @03:52PM (#28989881) Homepage Journal

      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?"

      • by MightyYar (622222) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:01PM (#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.

        • by cob666 (656740) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:16PM (#28990175) Homepage

          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.

          • by pugugly (152978) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:37PM (#28990511)

            More to the point - the Newscorp (And the Journal), like any other company, have every right to subcontract out service. Or not subcontract out service.

            But there is a real entitlement issue going on when, having done so, they think it's somehow unfair for them to not know the clients of the subcontracter. Hate to tell you this Murdoch, welcome to the world of real business.

            Pug

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by MozeeToby (1163751)

            Depending on what he's asking for, that isn't exactly fair either. You can buy individual copies of the WSJ for your Kindle, or you can by a yearly subscription upfront such that it is delivered to your Kindle automatically each day. As far as I'm concerned, asking for the contact information for the latter is reasonable, the former is not.

            • by mikiN (75494) on Friday August 07, 2009 @05:13PM (#28991025)

              If (in the 1900s, or being very rich) I would contract an errand boy or courier to fetch my newspaper at the stand everyday and bring it to me, would it be reasonable for the newspaper publisher to know my personal details? I think not.

              Today, the newspaper boy or courier is replaced by programs stored on a computer that checks lists of Kindle users who subscribe to newspaper delivery services, fetches one copy of the paper from the publisher every day, and delivers that to Kindles. Any difference with the first example? I think not.

          • by timeOday (582209) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:57PM (#28990805)
            But amazon does know who the WSJ/Kindle subscribers are. The article summary is painting Murdoch as a dinosaur who just doesn't understand how things work these days: "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"

            In fact, by any reasonable measure, "digital culture" has vastly increased publishers' awareness of who their customers are and what, precisely, they are reading and ignoring. So the premise of the summary's bias is blatantly false. Right or wrong, Murdoch's demand is perfectly in keeping with the times. And it is not at all a foregone conclusion that Murdoch's business instincts are wrong; he believes good reporting is worth paying for, and Kindle WSJ subscribers are examples of precisely that.

            • by ajs (35943) <ajs@@@ajs...com> on Friday August 07, 2009 @05:30PM (#28991179) Homepage Journal

              But amazon does know who the WSJ/Kindle subscribers are. The article summary is painting Murdoch as a dinosaur who just doesn't understand how things work these days: "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"

              Yes, notice the word "culture". Of course Amazon COULD turn over the goods on their users (likely they'd have to change their privacy policy, but that's doable). The question is SHOULD they, and would they suffer backlash and a loss of faith and face as a result.

              I'm pretty sure the answer is "yes." I don't want my name and various demographics going to Rupert Murdoch, even if I do subscribe to his rag (which, sadly, used to be an excellent paper).

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by timeOday (582209)
                Does digital culture somehow imply that distributors (Amazon) have more rights to information than producers (WSJ)? When we have this same discussion about Comcast wanting to get a slice of google's business because "they're using our pipes to make money," the consensus is the opposite.

                As for backlash against Amazon for letting WSJ know who WSJ subscribers are... I think not. Look at Amazon's main business (mail order), they refer millions of orders to vendors (This Item Ships From XYZ...) who do get yo

                • by dynamo (6127) on Friday August 07, 2009 @07:16PM (#28991987) Journal

                  Yeah, those 3rd-party vendors do get your address because they *need* it to write out the shipping forms to get it physically to your house. And similarly, with the Kindle, Amazon gets that info because they need it to know who to send the bits to over the network.

                  I'm sure that if Amazon were selling paper subscriptions to the WSJ that were delivered by WSJ itself, they'd give them the addresses.

                  Murdoch is a dinosaur, and not just because he's the mouthpiece for a political party that also has managed to sink itself almost to it's mouth level (just wait for this pay-for-propaganda-in-news-clothing thing to take effect), this is one of the early death wails.

                  The bottom line is that my personal information as a consumer is meant to be given out on a need-to-know basis. There's nothing good that might happen to the subscribers if Amazon shares the info, most likely just spam and behavioral tracking / profiling.

                  I'm going to buy something from Amazon to thank them.

            • by digitig (1056110) on Friday August 07, 2009 @07:00PM (#28991861)

              he believes good reporting is worth paying for, and Kindle WSJ subscribers are examples of precisely that.

              Could you remind me what the connection is between Murdoch and good journalism?

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                Could you remind me what the connection is between Murdoch and good journalism?

                He's just like me. I believe good flying cars are worth paying for...

            • by aepervius (535155) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:26PM (#28993199)
              Whenever I buy something I do not want to have my name address and other private information to be spread to the whole world. I want this to be only given to the store I buy from and only for the STRICT necessary purpose of the transaction. And I have got the privacy law of my country agreeeing with me. You may live in a country where all privacy is long gone, but that is your problem. *IF* a store gives my private info to anybody against my will and it was not forseen in the contract I signed with them, then they get my lawyer on their ass, and *I* will win. And if they put originally in their contract that they will provide my user info for anything beyond simple delivery (markleting, etc...) , then they don't get my sale to begin with. And in what I agreed upon with the online storeI use it is *NOT* written they will sell or give my info.

              Secondly that a privacy invasive procedure is NOW available whereas it was not available before, does not mean it should be used. Visa/MC can also "sell" the lsit of all what you buy to marketer. And it would certainly be a very very precise info. That does not mean it is desirable on any ground.
          • Murdoch: "These people are subscribing to our paper. They're OUR subscribers."
            Kindle: "No, they're just customers in our bookstore. We sell them the same thing every day, it's true, but their relationship is with us, not you."

            They're both tetched in the head.

        • by yuna49 (905461) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:49PM (#28990683)

          This doesn't exactly seem like an outrageous request.

          Perhaps, but then why didn't NewsCorp make that a requirement of its original contract with Amazon? According to TFA, NewsCorp just renegotiated that contract. They could have made access to the subscriber list a requirement of those negotiations as well. Sounds more like NewsCorp asked for the names, Amazon wouldn't agree, and Murdoch now wants to bitch about it. In this matchup, my money's on Amazon. So what if Kindle owners can't read the Journal online? It's not like they can't get it delivered in print or online forms or buy it at the local news stand. I'm guessing it has as much to do with Murdoch's ego and an inflated view of the true value of NewsCorp's properties in a networked world.

          I'm an Amazon Prime member, but I won't stay one for long if Amazon starts giving in to extortionate demands like this one.

      • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:04PM (#28989997) Homepage Journal
        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.......
        • by Xtravar (725372) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:10PM (#28990083) Homepage Journal

          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.

      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:06PM (#28990027) Journal

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arose (644256)

        "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

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          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: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Teun (17872)

            Since when has he cared about quality journalism or good reporting?

            Since it pays.

      • "'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?

        • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:39PM (#28990533) Homepage

          Those old margins are gone. Sorry Rupert.

          Oh so you noticed he said "old margins of profitability" not just "profitability" too, eh?

          Yeah, I bet Murdoch would like to have his "old margins" where all it took was to buy up a couple papers in an area to give you an effective monopoly, and there wasn't a hundred sources of the same information all competing for eyeballs.

          "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?

          Yeah. Apparently what he's saying is that foxnews.com is already profitable, but he's just not happy with the margins, so he's going to have to start charging people.

          Well guess what? Nobody gives a shit that you're profitable but not as much as you'd like to be. Right now any company or division that's in the black should be counting their blessings, not talking about gouging their users so they can relive the Glory Days. Those days are gone!

          All he's going to do is alienate foxnews.com viewers who are feeling the crunch more than Murdoch is. When he loses those eyeballs and advertisers won't pay as much and suddenly foxnews is in the red again, what is he going to do? Jack up the subscription price hoping that'll help?

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K (682162)

      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 ada

  • by basementman (1475159) on Friday August 07, 2009 @03:49PM (#28989813) Homepage

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

    • by garcia (6573) on Friday August 07, 2009 @03:52PM (#28989861) Homepage

      They're afraid the AP will come after them for quoting 50 words.

    • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@g m a i l .com> on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:00PM (#28989949) Journal

      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.

      • by Xaedalus (1192463) <Xaedalys@yaho[ ]om ['o.c' in gap]> on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:14PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MozeeToby (1163751)

          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?).

          Yes, whereas the news that we pay for (CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc) is all 100% news, certainly no opinions or bias there. Seriously, until I hit the parentheses, I honest to God thought that those were the news outlets you were talking about. More than 90% of what most people would call 'real news' is opinion at best, political hatchet jobs at worst.

          I will agree, however, that it is unlikely that a free, unbiased news source will pop up any time soon on its own. The people who care enough about getting ne

          • NPR (Score:5, Interesting)

            by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Friday August 07, 2009 @06:01PM (#28991415)

            At this point, I always direct people to NPR. 10% comes from the government, 35% from corporate sponsors, the rest from listeners. It doesn't get much more directly supported than this. If you don't like their programming, tell them you won't support them anymore. If there's more like you, watch them change the programming. Amazing how that has created some kick-ass reporting.

        • by Gooba42 (603597) <gooba42@gRABBITmail.com minus herbivore> on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:48PM (#28990657)

          Except that Murdoch is making some fundamentally flawed assumptions about the business and market.

          He assumes that what's wrong is the business model, as if nothing about journalism, publication, advertising or content has to change to capitalize on a fundamentally different market.

          Murdoch seems to be expressing the view that the "problem" with the internet is that information isn't scarce enough and he's entirely missing the point. Information was never actually scarce, it just wasn't distributed as evenly as it is now. The only way to make information scarce on the internet is to make up your own stories and put up a paywall. Everything that doesn't originate with you will route around you somehow.

          Putting up a paywall around the same old stuff isn't going to make us spontaneously want to pay for it.

      • That's stupid. Cable television got popular because it provided more content than you could get for free, and because (at least initially) it didn't have advertising that the OTA channels did.

        The problem is that Murdoch thinks that someone owns the news. That is seriously different than the television situation. You CANNOT copyright facts. It would be perfectly legal for someone to read the WSJ, rewrite the stories, and give them away for free with small ads nearby. And I suspect that is exactly what will happen if paywalls are erected.

        Microtransactions DO NOT WORK. They never will work... the cost to do the transaction will always be higher than the value transferred. I am not going to put payment details into every random site I want to look at. Nor is anyone else. Some very specialist sites can do that, but for everyone as a whole? It'll never happen.

        Things will remain free because that's what the marginal cost drives them to. Hell, look at your comment... should I have paid a microtransaction fee to look at it? Should you get reimbursed for writing it? How about my response here... should I charge you for being able to read it?

        The mistake everyone is making is thinking that journalism from newspapers is somehow special. It isn't. In fact, bloggers and many other people who are actually close to the action do a better job of reporting what is actually going on, instead of it being skewed through the lens of a reporter that may or may not give a shit about the subject matter being reported.

        My point is that the world is changing. Newspapers are no longer the gateway to information. And if they insist on trying to do things like charging micropayments, all they will do is accelerate their demise. Unless they do something like the RIAA/MPAA and essentially buy off some senators and judges and so on. I know that's what the AP is trying to do [typepad.com].
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by SecurityGuy (217807)

          Things will remain free because that's what the marginal cost drives them to.

          While we all like the sound of this, it's fundamentally wrong. The marginal cost is small, not zero. Disregarding that, there are fixed costs which must be paid.

          Imagine a hypothetical reporter who writes a story. It's a tiny story, so let's say it takes just $100 to pay all the costs associated with producing this story. We slap it on some website where a million people view it for free. Our cost to provide it to the million a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cyber-vandal (148830)

      Quality journalism isn't available from Rupert Murdoch's titles so I'm not quite sure why he mentions it at all.

  • by Senjutsu (614542) on Friday August 07, 2009 @03:49PM (#28989819)
    What does Rupert Murdoch, of all people, know about Quality Journalism?
  • by Darth_brooks (180756) * <clipper377@gm a i l . c om> on Friday August 07, 2009 @03:51PM (#28989859) Homepage

    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."

  • Quality Journalism? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by steve_thatguy (690298) on Friday August 07, 2009 @03:52PM (#28989883)
    Sure, *quality* journalism probably isn't cheap, but if Rupert's paying much for Fox News-caliber journalism, he's getting ripped off. [fbcdn.net]
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday August 07, 2009 @03:56PM (#28989917) Journal

    ...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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sumdumass (711423)

      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

    • ...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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      So sue amazon. You have proof of sale and delivery, so it should be easy. Besides, it's not like amazon has the time to spend in court.
  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PriceIke (751512) on Friday August 07, 2009 @03:58PM (#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? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RingDev (879105) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:06PM (#28990023) Homepage Journal

      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? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by twmcneil (942300) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:13PM (#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.
  • by bigredradio (631970) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:02PM (#28989973) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by Afforess (1310263) <afforess@gmail.com> on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:13PM (#28990113) Journal

    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.

    • Re:Bias Anyone? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:35PM (#28990453)

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

      ï
      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.

      Okay, I was just going to post the obligatory "You must be new here" response, but seriously - are you new here? Pretty much EVERY Slashdot article with a subject a good chunk of the Slashdot crowd feels strongly about (e.g. anything from the Bush presidency; anything that mentions the RIAA/MPAA; Bittorrent; SCO related news; any case where an online entity doesn't want to give their property away for free; anything about Microsoft or Apple - although those submissions alternate between being rabidly pro- and blazingly anti-) displays a similarly slanted and ill-informed bias.

  • Article links (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anna Merikin (529843) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:16PM (#28990181) Journal

    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?

  • by ACMENEWSLLC (940904) on Friday August 07, 2009 @04:34PM (#28990443) Homepage

    In the US we have moved from having a 1960's type society that is local/national with very similar interests to a society that is very diverse.

    What we think is newsworthy varies greatly. I read technical news information, Eve-Online news, and have completely lost interest in local and national news because it is so depressing.

    Traditional news sources simply can not cover everything. So having a portal to bring the news an individual want to hear about into a central location is where things are going.

    The journalistic sources that can accomplish this will be the victors of this change. I would love to sign into my news account and have detailed journalist analysis of the latest things going on in non Concord space, insights into the specific software packages I use, and what's new in the world of Maltese K9s.

    Just repeating news releases and the same thing I can see on CSPAN, sans the spin, as well as bogus headlines such as "We caught Bin Laden" (AP/Reuters) is not going to cut it anymore.

    My opinion.

  • by Zaphod-AVA (471116) on Friday August 07, 2009 @05:23PM (#28991107)

    Why was it profitable to create news outlets in traditional media from advertising money and not on the internet?

    The bane of internet advertising is direct feedback. With print media, businesses would run advertising and simply hope it is working. They would renew their ads every week. In the internet age you get instant feedback on how successful it is.. number of page views, number of clicks. Poor performing ads get pulled quickly, providing less revenue.

    We are at a time of transition. Many younger people consume their news entirely from the internet. While it isn't the whole population, it is growing at a very high rate. All we have to do is wait. When enough people are using the internet for their news, and enough advertisers realize that it is page hits and not clicks that matter, there will be plenty of revenue to be had producing quality news... probably even more revenue than before since the distribution costs are so much lower.

  • by ring-eldest (866342) <[ring_eldest] [at] [hotmail.com]> on Friday August 07, 2009 @06:23PM (#28991595)
    "'As I've said before, my concept of a business model has to treat customers like products to ensure that our journalistic businesses can return to their traditions of controlling everything people see and hear,' Murdoch said. 'Creating fictional news is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply making us look like greedy control freaks who want to rape the hearts and minds of Americans.'"

    There, fixed that for you.
  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Friday August 07, 2009 @06:41PM (#28991719) Homepage
    The economy is shit at the moment and I think people are coming around to realising that a lot of Murdoch's "news" outlets are complete bullshit and going elsewhere for their news.
  • "Republican" tag (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bodero (136806) on Friday August 07, 2009 @07:20PM (#28992023)

    This may come as quite a shock, but Rupert Murdoch is far from a Republican. He's a businessman who saw an underrepresented market - cable TV news that slanted right rather than slanted left. Other than that, he's friends with plenty of liberal bigwigs and actively promoted Hillary Clinton's campaign.

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