Feeds

Murdoch threatens to yank News Corp. from Google News

Google: Go ahead, make our day

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.