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Panpa Bulletin : March 2006
CHRIS Chapman has been ap- pointed the inaugural Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Informa- tion Technology and the Arts, was delighted with the appointment. "He has relevant and diverse skills in broadcasting and telecom- munications, as well as extensive legal, financial and management expertise," said Senator Coonan. "His significant experience will assist ACMA as it faces many chal- lenges in the next few years from the rapid technological changes taking place in television, radio and other forms of the media. Mr Chapman took on the role on February 27, after leaving his position as the Chief Operating Officer of specialist funds manage- ment activities at Babcock & Brown Limited. "To be appointed ACMA Chair- man and Chief Executive Officer is a unique opportunity at a particu- larly interesting time for an already dynamic communications sector," Mr Chapman said. "ACMA has been designed to be, and has itself adopted the challenge of being, an innovative regulator so as to successfully meet ever-chang- ing industry and community needs. "I'm delighted to be joining an organisation that has already estab- lished an impressive platform in a very short period of time. "I'm also obviously pleased that the Minister saw the depth and variety of my broadcasting, on-line and telecommunication experi- ences as a key attraction." Mr Chapman comes from a legal background and his experience includes CEO of Excite@Home Australia, CEO Stadium Australia Management, Chairman Film Aus- tralia, Director National Film and Sound Archive and a stint as Chief Operating officer of Seven Network. The Minister paid tribute to the current Acting Chairman, Lyn Mad- dock, who will return to her role as Deputy Chairman when Mr Chap- man assumes his position. "Ms Maddock has been the Acting Chairman since ACMA's inception and her energy and commitment to the Authority has been greatly appreciated during the transition," Senator Coonan said. March 2006 PaNPa bUlletiN | 7 NeWS the publishers are arguing that the search engines should be paying fees for the use of their material. Web sites like Google and its specialized Google News service use computers to automatically milk the headlines, pictures and short excerpts from thousands of news sources. The excerpts auto- matically link back to the newspa- per's own home pages. This was originally welcomed by some publishers as a means of boosting their site traffic, but that view is changing. Google News does not currently carry advertising. Gavin O'Reilly, president of the Paris-based World Association of Newspapers, who is co-ordinating the campaign, accepts that news- papers "need search engines." "They do help consumers navi- gate an increasingly complicated medium, but they're building their business on the back of kleptoma- nia. Ultimately, the aggregators need the content providers." O'Reilly believes that while serv- ices such as Google only display the headline and one paragraph of the story, "that's often enough" for browsing readers. "The search engines are increas- ingly aiming their strategic efforts at traditional content originators and aggregators like newspaper publishers," said O'Reilly. "The irony is that these search engines exist, largely, because of the tradi- tional news and content aggrega- tors and profit at their expense." Singling out Google for criti- cism, the WAN president that that as a general rule, Yahoo, MSN and Ask Jeeves "seem more open to constructive dialogue. "It's only Google which seems to have this absolute view (that all information should be available free)." O'Reilly likened the initiative to the conflict between the music in- dustry and illegal file-sharing web- sites and said it was not a sign that publishers had failed to create a competitive online business mod- el of their own."I think newspapers have developed very compelling web portals and news channels but the fact here is that we're deal- ing with basic theft," he said. WAN is lining up meetings with the European Union's internal market commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, and the commissioner responsible for media, Viviane Reding. WAN has made it clear that it is not ruling out legal action to en- force copyright or "collective ac- tion." The organization, which repre- sents 18,000 newspapers and 73 national newspaper associations, including PANPA, is examining whether new standards and poli- cies could be drafted to create a commercial relationship between publishers, search engines and content aggregators. The move by WAN comes as a pending court case in the US pits Agence France Presse against Google. AFP sued the company last year, alleging that Google News carries its photos, news headlines and stories without permission. Publishers will be watching that case very closely, says the manag- ing director of WAN, Ali Rahnema. The idea of the proposed meet- ing with the European Commis- sion officials was to establish whether the news aggregators were infringing on copyrights or brands. "It's not intended to shoot one over the bow, it's intended to take a group of people to look at the is- sue, and look at what options are open to our members," Rahnema told Reuters. "The purpose of this isn't to attack Google, but to say that an industry we don't feel OK with you taking the content and seeing what happens. Google is also facing a lawsuit in the US filed in October last year by major book publishers, which ob- ject to the search engine digitising and storing library books without the permission of the copyright holders. Publishers take on google newspaper publishers around the world are mounting a campaign to challenge web search engines like Google who are profting from unauthorised exploitation of their content reports Jack Beverley. Chapman boss of aCMa chris chapman, ceo of acMa: fairfaxphotos