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News Corp. Blocks Content from News Aggregation Site

Is More Content Blocking on the Way?

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As you may recall, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch began talking about blocking search engines and news aggregators a couple months ago. This escalated discussions that have essentially been going on for over a decade about the online news industry and fair use.

At the FTC’s Journalism and Internet Workshop in December, Murdoch said, "There are those who think they have a right to take our news content and use it for their own purposes without contributing a penny to its production. Some rewrite, at times without attribution, the news stories of expensive and distinguished journalists who invested days, weeks or even months in their stories—all under the tattered veil of ‘fair use.’"

It appears as though Murdoch’s words are finally starting to come to fruition. MediaPost’s Laurie Sullivan has learned that UK search engine/news aggregator NewsNow.co.uk has been blocked by Times Online, a publication from News International, a subsidiary of News Corp.

News Now

Sullivan quotes NewsNow Managing Director and Chairman Stuart Bartlett: "We think NewsNow performs a public service by linking to news from a wide variety of different providers…It lets people compare and contrast reported views in the press. This makes NewsNow a kind of ‘meta-newspaper.’"

Bartlett feels that it is unfair that his site has been blocked by Times Online, while Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc. are not blocked. Sullivan notes that NewsNow offers a paid service, and that could very well count as a major strike against it. This would seemingly fall in line with other comments made by Murdoch about making money off of News corp. content.

It is no surprise that a News Corp. publication would block a site like NewsNow, and this could just be the beginning of a long string of similar moves from News Corp. and other like-minded publishers. The real question is still will they follow through with the blocking of major search engines (namely Google)? That would be a much bolder move.

Related Articles:

> Murdoch On Blocking Search Engines: "I Think We Will"

> Murdoch’s War with the Aggregators

> Is it Really Crazy to Block Google?

News Corp. Blocks Content from News Aggregation Site
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  • Guest

    Seems like a weird aggregator to start with. Near as I can tell, NewsNow just links to other sites. It would have been better for Murdoch to start with something like Newstin, which yanks content, sometimes significant amounts, directly from other sites. Considering this often has a detrimental impact on the originating source’s Google rankings, at least he’d have a defensible argument to hold up.

  • http://www.theiphonedevelopers.co.uk/ App Developer

    All this whining from an old man losing his power to tell the world his version of the news is very tedious.
    Rupert, one and for all, if you don’t want people linking to your news just add the one line of robots.txt to your sites.
    But before you do that, take a few minutes to ask yourself who do the millions of online users trust more: you or Google.
    Old men relinquishing power is never going to be a pretty site but Murdoch’s disingenuous oversight of robots.txt just make an old powerful man look like he’s past his sell by date.

  • http://www.peteregan.org/ Peter Egan

    I’m willing to pay $2 a day for the printed version of the Times Picayune.

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