Web Issue Worries Publishers

By Manly, Lorne | Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management, September 15, 1995 | Go to article overview

Web Issue Worries Publishers


Manly, Lorne, Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management


As more magazines create sites on the World Wide Web, and as commercial online services increasingly integrate Internet access into their software, a battle is brewing over the way those services provide Web pages to their users.

The issue at hand is caching, a practice whereby an online service stores Web pages on its own system rather than sending a user to the site itself The first user to request a Web page sees the original from the information provider s site. But in order to speed downloading time, the online services then direct future users to the version stored in their caches.

A growing number of publishers view that as copyright infringement, and they worry about the impact on ad sales. Caching doesn't allow a publisher s server to get an accurate tally of the use of its pages. Until the page is updated in the online service s cache (usually at least once a day), what appears as one visit to the Web site could in fact be dozens. Moreover, the online services have been less than eager to share data about the actual number of visitors.

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