Rupert Murdoch is considering yanking his many news operations–which include Fox News–from being accessed by Google:
Mr. Murdoch said that consumers shouldn’t have had free access to information online that they paid for in other formats.
“I think we’ve been asleep,” he said. “It costs us a lot of money to put together good newspapers and good content. They’re very happy to pay for it when they buy a newspaper, and I think when they read it elsewhere they’re going to have to pay. Not huge sums. You’d be surprised how much can be done, how cheaply, into the average home.”
Echoing accusations of “parasitism” and “kleptomania” that other News Corp. execs have levied against Google for featuring their content on Google sites, Mr. Murdoch said search companies “steal our stories.” News Corp. declined to comment.
Mr. Speers said that those sites argue that they’re helping news outlets, by sending them readers who click the search results. “Isn’t it a two-way street?” he asked.
“They don’t suddenly become loyal readers of our content,” Mr. Murdoch said. “We’d rather have fewer people coming to our Web site but paying.”
“The other argument from Google is that you could choose not to be on their search engine,” Mr. Speers said. “You could simply refuse to be on it, so that when someone does do a search, your Web sites don’t come up. Why haven’t you done that?”
“I think we will,” Mr. Murdoch said. “We do it already, with The Wall Street Journal. We have a wall, but it’s not right to the ceiling. You can get the first paragraph of any story, but if you’re not a paying subscriber to WSJ.com, you get a paragraph and a subscription form.” (Journal articles are currently indexed by search engines and are available for free through Google results. Visitors reach the pay wall only after clicking subsequent articles after the article discovered through search.)
Mr. Murdoch added that News Corp. believes that the fair-use doctrine, which allows for use of copyrighted materials in limited ways such as search results, “could be challenged in the courts and barred altogether.”
He thinks that the courts would do his bidding and eliminate the fair use doctrine? At any rate, does this make sense? Would you pay to access Fox News Online in a special trip to that site? Or would you just go with whatever comes up on Google?