Newspaper Exec Claims To Embrace New Media While Lashing Out At Google

from the having-it-both-ways dept

A few weeks ago, Google cut a deal with Agence France-Presse allowing it to include the agency's stories in Google News. This resolved a long-running dispute between the two sides, as AFP had claimed that just by linking to its stories, Google was in violation of copyright law. The law was solidly on Google's side, so it didn't make much sense for Google to settle with AFP, since it seemed like it would obviously set a bad precedent. Not surprisingly, other news organizations may now be looking for similar deals. In a recent speech, the editor of the UK's Daily Telegraph asserted that companies like Google and Yahoo were building businesses on the backs of newspapers without proper recognition. Bizarrely, he prefaced this comment with the acknowledgment that newspapers should embrace new media. So there seems to be a mental disconnect here. Commenting on this, Roy Greenslade at the Guardian seems to take much the same view: Google and new media are good for newspapers, but newspapers still deserve some sort of extra compensation for letting Google link to their content. This view really doesn't make much sense. Getting linked to from Google is clearly a boost to newspapers' websites, because it's a major source of traffic, which is paramount for monetizing the web. The reason that newspapers are seeing their profits deteriorate isn't because Google is parasitically pilfering their content, but because the internet has changed the news business and eroded their monopolies. As always, if any newspaper feels that its not getting its just due from Google, it's simple to opt out of the system and give up all of the traffic and attention that comes with it.

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  • identicon, 24 Apr 2007 @ 2:50pm

    My Two Cents...

    Why GOOGLE is KING...

    Microsoft is doomed... for becoming rich off piracy and exploiting its customers... Don't expect them to be the best at anything you are not forced to use... heck even Hotmail is starting to suck...

    Why Yahoo can't compete...

    1. Google home page loads really fast
    2. Google home page works in almost anything that reads web pages
    3. Search results return quickly
    4. Simple no clutter
    5. Google Execs seem to remember its the geeks that made the internet...

    All other search engines fail at these items and instead bog down their home page with ads to support their stupidity for not following the model that works... Google!!!

    Look how Google does this...Ad Words!!! They make money for making it easy to find things...

    If they don't follow Googles model they will die... as they should!!!

    In fact to illustrate this I pose a "What If..."

    What if Google permanently banned from their search results any company that threatened a lawsuit. How would someone find out? They couldn't search for it on Google? :-) It would take ten years to find it on anything else...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mike brady, 24 Apr 2007 @ 3:18pm

    I really don't understand the arguement

    It seems to me that google provides links to information freely available on the web. It doesn't steal anything -- it just provides a nifty place to find out where to go for information.

    It would be like having to pay for showing what time shows come on.

    I would really like a good, solid position statement from a smart person explaining why google should pay for linking?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kirk, 24 Apr 2007 @ 3:58pm

    This worldview is all too common - and wrong.

    A few weeks back Sam Zell (probable future owner of the LA Times) asked a group of Stanford Law students this question:

    “If all the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content for nothing, what would Google do, and how profitable would Google be?”

    The problem is, Zell is supposedly trying to save the newspaper business. But with that attitude he probably isn't going to get very far.

    Medialoper covered this in more detail in Sam Zell vs. The Future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2007 @ 6:07pm

    Google should stop linking to all the papers for one day, and let the media outlets see how much fewer people go to the websites on those days.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon, 24 Apr 2007 @ 6:15pm

    Cheese With Your Whine?

    Google is to internet lookup as phone book is to
    phone numbers. True or False

    I say True.

    So, as I recall people have to pay for yellow page listings and the white pages require a fee to be unlisted. So I can see some similarity in the statement:

    "It would be like having to pay for showing what time shows come on."

    I feel that the newspaper people need some cheese with their whine...

    Oh! Oh! I got an idea what if they actually figure out a way to make money with a changing buisness model like the rest of the world is doing and spend less time complaining about their lack of ideas to save a slowly dying media format...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Geeb, 25 Apr 2007 @ 1:15am

    Thick skulls

    I've seen a lot of support for the Telegraph's position, although TechDirt seems mercifully immune. The argument is this:

    "Google is aggregating a lot of content that cost them nothing to produce, and then getting rich by displaying adverts with it."

    That's the problem - there seem to be people in the world who genuinely can't tell the difference between completely reproducing a story, and displaying the first few lines and a link.

    And there aren't any ads.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Ainsworth, 26 Apr 2007 @ 7:57am

    An admission...

    This kind of thinking, in my opinion, is an admission on the part of newspaper executives of something that they've known long before the rise of the Web. And that reality is that a lot of people just skim the headlines. A. Lot. Of. People. And Google News, and others, just makes it a whole lot easier for folks to just skim the headlines and ignore the stories.

    For example, I can just go to the Cincinnati newspaper on Yahoo! News...

    ...And skim a day's worth of news each day, without having to visit the newspaper's site or picking up a single copy and getting my thumbs stained with ink. Plus, since reporters are taught to put the most important part of the story in the first sentence--most of the time, a sentence is all you need and I can get that there.

    Of course, not everyone just skims the news this way. But I think newspaper executives realize that a large number of people do--and these people aren't skimming the news on their own websites.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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