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Google in Newspaper Copyright Dispute

Newspapers take aim at Google in copyright dispute – Internet – “DUBLIN (Reuters) – A group representing global newspaper publishers has launched a lobbying campaign to challenge search engines like Google that aggregate news content. The move comes as the newspaper industry’s traditional business model is under pressure with advertising spending shifting away from print and toward the internet. The Paris-based World Association of Newspapers, whose members include dozens of national newspaper trade bodies, said it is exploring ways to ‘challenge the exploitation of content by search engines without fair compensation to copyright owners’.”

I think this little storm will rage in it’s teapot until newspapers admit to the internet changing their landscape. Blaming Google for the internet won’t wash as they have yet to pay attention to bloggers who do the same thing. The tiny little detail that they don’t notice is that news aggregators and bloggers lead to a dramatic upswing in their readership and exposure.

How backward and insular can you get? Newspapers have recognized that classified advertising is dying due to the better reach an lower cost (often free) of internet classified advertising or free sites like the regional editions of Craigslist. There is literally nothing they can do to stop the web from becoming the news source for the world.

If nobody knows about a newspaper web site discussing matters of interest to them, how do they find it? A search engine. Blocking those search engines from indexing or listing their content is extremely simple. All newspaper webmasters must certainly know that they can easily stop search engines from indexing their content simply by placing robots.txt files on their server telling search engine bots and crawlers to stay out. If they don’t want to be indexed, put up that magic little text file telling Google news to stay out. No problem.

Google news makes no money from its news site currently. No ads appear there and no links to anything other than those news stories exist on the page. What could the objection be to a search engine sending far more traffic to a newspaper web site?