Instead, the FTC staff declares defeat in the search for business models so it may explore many government interventions, including:
* Expanding copyright law and restricting the doctrine of fair comment to benefit legacy publishers.
* Granting antitrust exemptions to allow publishers to collude on pricing to consumers and to business partners.
* Giving news organizations tax exemptions.
* Subsidizing news organizations by increasing government funding to public broadcasting; establishing an AmeriCorps to pay reporters; giving news companies tax credits for employing journalists; creating a national fund for local news, and giving the press an increased postal subsidy.
To its credit, the FTC does ask how to pay for all this. So the staffers speculated about what I'll dub the iPad tax -- a 5 percent surcharge on consumer electronics to raise $4 billion for news. They also consider a tax on broadcast spectrum and even on advertising.
Most dangerous of all, the FTC considers a doctrine of "proprietary facts," as if anyone should gain the right to restrict the flow of information just as the information is opening it up. Copyright law protects the presentation of news but no one owns facts -- and if anyone did, you could be forbidden from sharing them. How does that serve free speech?
Read more: How NOT To Save the News Business--Jeff Jarvis - NYPOST.com