Fair Syndication Consortium Calls Foul On Google

    December 1, 2009

In most pie charts that feature Google, the search giant dominates the circle, and a new one from the Fair Syndication Consortium follows that pattern.  Unfortunately for Google’s reputation, the chart’s titled "How unlicensed use of U.S. newspaper content is monetized."

According to the Fair Syndication Consortium, newspaper articles are getting copied left and right, with about 112,000 having been more or less duplicated in full in the last 30 days.  Some big corporations are sort of responsible for (or are at least contributing to) the illegal use, too.

AOL was assigned about 3 percent of the blame in terms of monetization.  Next up, at 5 percent, was Audience Science.  Then came the search industry’s big three, with Microsoft placing third (also at 5 percent), Yahoo coming in second (at 19 percent), and Google topping the list (at 53 percent).

This finding is almost sure to spur on Rupert Murdoch and a few other media figures as they push for publishers to block Google.  Even if there’s not a direct line, it very much supports the concept that search companies steal money from news organizations.

Still, there are valid arguments to be made about free publicity, and Google’s been clear that it’s willing to cut off content producers upon request.  There’s also its recent concession on the First Click Free front to consider.

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