It really is stunning how badly newspaper people seem to misunderstand what's going on with Google. In response to the bizarre begging for Google to support poor journalists, a Florida movie critic is asking why the newspapers haven't teamed up to file a class action lawsuit against Google. Here's one good reason: it would get laughed out of court pretty damn fast. There seems to be tremendous confusion (and downright ignorance) about what Google does. The guy starts out by claiming Google is "taking news content and providing it for free without paying for it," which is flat out false. Google isn't taking news and it isn't providing it for free. It's driving more traffic to the news that newspapers already provide for free. Google giving them traffic benefits those newspaper sites by giving them more traffic to monetize. To claim that somehow this takes away from those sites isn't just incorrect, it's strategically backwards. To then go on to claim that it's somehow illegal to provide more traffic to sites that were put online for free is so ridiculous that Google should simply stop indexing the guy's newspaper on principle and see how they like getting less traffic.
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