The headline for the story in today's Papermint reads "Google search: Vir Sanghvi. Results: 42,300". So a colleague actually went ahead and performed a search, quite a simple one, no 'AND' operators and guess what? There are only 34,800 results (search conducted 1722 IST 03.03.07) I know Google re-indexes its pages quite often, but a 20 percent downside? Hmm, seems a bit much, wouldn't you say? Of course, the search led me to his HT bio, which would make even the most idolising PR bio-writer cringe!
Anyway, I actually hadn't discovered this because Vir's column isn't about Google, but about copyright. While Vir makes some interesting noises on copyright issues, the noises are fairly old noises. The copyright battle in media has become far more interesting in the West. Look at the world now, digital media, DRM and the pros and cons of DRM (can't really see too many upsides, but anyway!) and Creative Commons. In fact, Creative Commons (under which I plan to move this blog fairly soon) has recently moved to Version 3.0. You cannot do an article on copyright without understanding the complexities of the digital medium. lame, decade-old answers are not the solution. I realise that we work in an industry that has to face the issue of online content-distribution and how best to deal with copyright in the age of the internet.
Though, I am pretty surprised that Vir mentioned the VN Narayanan incident - wherein Vir's predecessor at HT actually lifted an entire article (this is pre-Google mind you!) and passed it off as his own. Anyway, don't read too much into this post, I am just a mischief-monger! Plus, I reckon I have a lot of readers through feeds - and I know a lot of people have started writing in through email lately, and I'll like to thank all of you folks for writing in, but the slow-comment conundrum is something still baffles me!