From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
The newspaper is essentially a news medium of the past. While it was vital during the greater part of the past three centuries, electronic media, starting with radio, have pointed the way to its obsolescence. To place taxes and/or fees on electronic media in order preserve newspapers makes about as much sense as taxing slip-on shoes in order to preserve the shoe lace industry. Stop confusing the message with the medium. It is NOT in the public interest to impede progress by means of over-regulation. As to changing copyright laws to "protect" facts rather than the way in which such facts are expressed, such action would be a clear-cut violation of the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech. This entire exercise is an offensive waste of public monies at a time when our government is grappling with an unimaginable deficit. Just drop this one like a hot potato, and get on to PROPERLY fulfilling the FTC's consumer protection mission, rather than trying to stifle consumers' access to information.