It’s been about five months since Rupert Murdoch first claimed that he would block search engines from News Corp. content, and even if not a lot’s happened as a result, Murdoch hasn’t let the matter slide. He issued another warning yesterday while at the National Press Club.
"We are going to stop people like Google or Microsoft or whoever from taking stories for nothing . . . there is a law of copyright and they recognise it," Murdoch said according to Paul Harris.
The chairman and CEO of News Corp. later added, "They take [news content] for nothing. They have got this very clever business model."
Of course, Murdoch didn’t make any fresh announcements regarding News Corp. content and pay walls, or establish any sort of timeframe for when he might do so. So if these statements have any effect at all, they might weaken his position by highlighting the fact that Murdoch hasn’t taken action so far.
It’s possible that these comments will draw out a few more supporters, though, giving Murdoch a more defensible stance if he ever does flip the switch. The situation will bear watching.
UPDATE: In a new WebProNews video, Abby Johnson provides a good perspective on the conflict between publishers and search engines, citing recent events and cutting to an interview with Danny Sullivan. You can watch the video below.