The digital revolution has been shaped by blunders as much as by breakthroughs, and the course of its brief history is littered with the bleached skulls of visionary efforts undone by bad timing, bad judgment, or the simple human inability to see around corners.
Can somebody actually “own” news? That’s not so far-fetched. After all, it is customary to regard certain forms of expression—pictures, poems, novels—as belonging to their creators, who then charge for its use. Disney Co. copyrights Mickey Mouse as its intellectual property; lyricists get paid when their songs are recorded.