Feeds

Google UK boss: Think of us as a newsagent

With schoolkids allowed in all the time?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The head of Google UK reassured MPs yesterday that the massive ad broker does not steal content from impoverished publishers, and should be thought of more as a kindly local newsagent with a massive server farm at the back of the shop.

Matt Brittin gave the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee the impression that he was distressed by descriptions of the search giant as a "parasite".

'I want to make one thing incredibly clear - we do not steal content," he said, according to The Telegraph.

He added that Google was simply using a snippet of publishers' content and was in return sending oodles of impressions their way.

"We are, if you like, a virtual newsagent," he said.

If anything, he said, Google was performing a public service, as in a physical newsagent, publishers often have to pay to have their publication in the shop.

We like this image - of Eric, Larry and Sergy running a little corner shop, sort of like Ronnie Barker, David Jason and Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in an Open All Hours for the internet age.

The difference is that Google doesn't face the prospect of paying for their deliveries of magazines and are totally disinterested in whether or not customers are simply skimming the choice/dirty bits of the papers before they put them back, then buy some sweets.

Brittin insisted there was a long term future for papers - including locals - as "you can flick through things, you can find things easily, it's a nice assortment of stories and content, including advertising that's relevant to you".

Whether local papers will survive Google's latest wheeze of getting into property sales advertising is quite another question.

Brittin also put paid to the idea that Google is somehow groaning with cash on the back of all those ads it places around the snippets of other people's stories it uses in its search results.

Overall growth had slowed down to zero earlier this year he said, and it was picking up now.

But he added, when it comes to news content: "We don't make money from this content in any great measure." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
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
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
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

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.