"But of course there is no such thing as free information. Someone has to pay for it. Just not Google or Facebook. And with the free information that they were using from elsewhere, these twin behemoths built themselves into the biggest advertising sales companies the world has ever seen. From 2000 to 2014, US advertising revenue fell from $65.8bn to $23.6bn, Taplin documents in his book. And between 2007 and 2013, UK ad revenues went from $4.7bn to $2.6bn. But from 2003 to 2015, Google’s revenue went from $1.5bn to an astronomical $74.5bn.
In other words, the companies supplying the “free” information were devastated, while those exploiting it were massively rewarded. But isn’t that just the way of history? Aren’t those who complain just modern versions of the wagon wheel manufacturers decrying the arrival of the automobile?”
The great digital-age swindle… and the man fighting back