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News, Ads, Chats, and Property Rights over Algorithms


  • Jan Kleinnijenhuis

    (Department of Communication Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands)


The success of tech firms rests on their ownership of the algorithms for operating new platforms for the interactions among five groups of stakeholders in the markets of news, ads, and chats: stakeholders from the spheres of politics, journalism, the citizenry, the tech firms themselves, and other firms. Recent regulations that touch on property rights such as the German Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz and the European Directive on Copyright in the Digital Market have turned ownership of algorithms into exclusive ownership. Thereby tech firms obtain also the right to censor and the exclusive right to micro-target clients for advertisers. Coase’s theorem is used to discuss alternative allocations of property rights that could improve the quality of news, ads, and chats.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Kleinnijenhuis, 2018. "News, Ads, Chats, and Property Rights over Algorithms," Media and Communication, Cogitatio Press, vol. 6(3), pages 77-82.
  • Handle: RePEc:cog:meanco:v:6:y:2018:i:3:p:77-82

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. R. H. Coase, 2013. "The Federal Communications Commission," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 879-915.
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