Feeds

Murdoch threatens to yank News Corp. from Google News

Google: Go ahead, make our day

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Rupert Murdoch says his company will forbid its content from appearing in Google search results once pay-walls are set up across News Corp websites.

Speaking in an interview with Sky News Australia on Friday, the media tycoon reiterated previous threats to begin charging for online content across the company's newspapers, while accusing companies like Google and Microsoft of "stealing" stories via their news aggregation services.

Asked why News Corp. doesn't simply choose not to be listed on Google's search engine, Murdoch said this will likely happen.

"Well, I think we will," said Murdoch. "But that's when we start charging. We do it already with the Wall Street Journal. We have a wall, but it's not right to the ceiling. You can get the first paragraph of any story, but if you're not a paying subscriber of WSJ.com there's immediately — there's a paragraph and a subscription form."

Murdoch is actually incorrect on the WSJ business. Google confirms with us that the newspaper's website uses the First Click Free program, where publishers who charge access agree to allow all users who find the page through Google see the full page without requiring registration or a subscription. Clicking on additional links on the website will then bring up a payment request.

Murdoch added that the concept of fair use rules protecting search engines will ultimately be rejected by courts (once News Corps is done milking existing ad-based revenue).

"There's a doctrine called fair use which we believe could be challenged in the courts and barred altogether — but, you know, it's OK. We're getting a lot of advertising revenue, so we'll take that slowly."

The mogul argues that content aggregators like Google News don't attract loyal customers providing a steady stream of clicks.

"What's the point of having someone come occasionally who likes a headline they see on Google?" he asked. "There's not enough advertising in the world to make all the websites profitable. We'd rather have fewer people come to our website, but paying."

Murdoch also mentions that News Corp. has "been asleep" by not requiring users to pay for content, asserting that customers are "very happy to pay for it when they buy a newspaper." (Wait, people still buy newspapers?)

When reached for comment, a Google spokesman told El Reg in an email that it would not respond specifically on Murdoch's comments, but said Google News and web search are a tremendous source of promotion for news organizations, sending them about 100,000 clicks each minute.

Google also hinted at calling Murdoch's bluff, telling us that news orgs are in complete control over whether their content appears in search results or not. "If publishers want their content to be removed form Google News specifically, all they need to do is tell us and we'll remove them as a source," Google wrote.

For all his threats, Murdoch doesn't seem in a terrible hurry to act upon them. Last week, Murdoch confirmed that his company is not likely to meet its previous June deadline for establishing pay-walls around all its extensive catalog of newspaper websites, from The Sun to The Times.

The entire interview is available on Sky News Australia's YouTube channel. Catch it below. ®

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?