Newspapers Lobby Against Google News

    February 1, 2006

The World Association of Newspapers is lobbying against Google News, a non revenue-producing search engine that sends tons of traffic their way.

Foot: “I’m heading for the mouth”

Newspapers: “Wait, I have to shoot you!”

I’m not sure my little skit worked. Oh, well

Anyway, I don’t understand the fighting of Google News. It sends traffic, produces zero content, sells zero ads, and helps small and large publishers alike. Taking yourself out of the search engines is always a way to shoot yourself in the foot (yes, that’s what I was going for, sorry), and there are plenty of websites doing far worse content theft. Besides, if the Google cache is fair use, how could Google News not be?

“They’re building a new medium on the backs of our industry, without paying for any of the content,” Ali Rahnema, managing director of the association, told Reuters in an interview.

“The news aggregators are taking headlines, photos, sometimes the first three lines of an article – it’s for the courts to decide whether that’s a copyright violation or not.”

What do you think?

(via Slashdot)

Techdirt says:

that’s wrong. What Google is doing is making that content more valuable by making it easier to find. If the newspapers want to opt-out, that’s fine – but it ends up hurting them. This is all about jealousy that Google has figured out a way to make a lot of money by making their content more useful. That doesn’t take away from their content, but actually helps them – which is why the anger towards Google is so ridiculous. Maybe Google should just call their bluff, and take them out of the index.

Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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