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Murdoch: I will block Google
And challenge 'Fair Use' principles, thinks headline/snippet use is illegal
Syzygy




msg:4021858
 8:01 pm on Nov 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

From the BBC [news.bbc.co.uk]

The billionaire told Sky News Australia he will explore ways to remove stories from Google's search indexes, including Google News.
Mr Murdoch's News Corp had previously said it would start charging online customers across all its websites.

He believes that search engines cannot legally use headlines and paragraphs of news stories as search results.

"There's a doctrine called 'fair use', which we believe to be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether," Mr Murdoch told the TV channel. "But we'll take that slowly."

Ok, so we all know that he could simply prevent indexing, but I'm sure he's aware of that too. Seems the wily old fox wants to go much further than just that and seeks change the entire landscape of the web by making it illegal for anyone and anything to use text from copyrighted stories as search result snippets.

The ramifications are huge. How very, very interesting...

Syzygy

 

signor_john




msg:4024576
 7:30 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned Daylife, an OEM news aggregator that has Rupert Murdoch's NEW YORK POST is one of its clients.

A little while ago, when I checked the aggregated news stories (with larger-than-Google-size snippets) on Daylife.com's home page, I found a bunch of stories from Fox News (another of Mr. Murdoch's properties). To me, this illustrates what Murdoch and his allies really want: an aggregation model that's controlled and dominated by a handful of large media companies, as opposed to the more democratic Google News aggregation model, where the PODUNK POST may get top billing for "Podunk assassin shoots senator" or "NASA lands first roundtrip rocket on Mars" if the Google News algorithm decides its story is fresher or more relevant than a similar story from the NEW YORK POST, Fox News, or another big-name media property.

At its essence, the debate here isn't about copyright, or even about Rupert Murdoch vs. Google; it's about who should control news search and access to news on the Web. Like "net neutrality," it's about democracy vs. entrenched special interests and an "open Web" model vs. a "cable TV" model. Anyone who thinks Rupert Murdoch is the good guy in this debate needs to look at the bigger picture.

loudspeaker




msg:4024590
 7:57 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

At its essence, the debate here isn't about copyright, or even about Rupert Murdoch vs. Google; it's about who should control news search and access to news on the Web. Like "net neutrality," it's about democracy vs. entrenched special interests and an "open Web" model vs. a "cable TV" model. Anyone who thinks Rupert Murdoch is the good guy in this debate needs to look at the bigger picture.

@ signor_john. I think you have your alliances backwards. I, too, have no sympathy for Mr Murdoch and his newspapers, but I will defend his right to print that garbage and sell ads against it because he is, after all, making a product. A bad one, yes, but made with honest skills and hard-earned resources.

You are right - this isn't so much about copyright as it is about control. However, I 100% disagree with you on who the devil is in this picture. The prospect of "benevolent" Google controlling everything is a total nightmare for some of us not blinded by their siren song of universally useful information. No matter how bad Murdoch is, he can't and he won't be able to affect *all* information we consume. Google scares the bejeesus out of me with their ambition to control absolutely everything, from ecommerce to news to personal data to... everything! Anything not to their liking will be eliminated - no appeals allowed.

I firmly believe that no entity, public or private, no individual should have that power. And I can guarantee Murdoch won't. I am not so sure about Google.

willybfriendly




msg:4024597
 8:05 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

To me, this illustrates what Murdoch and his allies really want: an aggregation model that's controlled and dominated by a handful of large media companies...

...whose companies created the material in the first place...

...as opposed to...Google News...

...a single large media company generating significant income from content it does not author.

Yes, with the additions I think you have captured the dispute.

Demaestro




msg:4024611
 8:42 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Can someone explain why Murdoch doesn't instruct his webmasters to block Google if they are so upset about this all.

He says he doesn't want Google indexing his sites, but he does nothing to stop it other than stomp his feet and cry foul.

To me it is the heart of the issue.

Why.... if you want to block Google would you not block Google?

loudspeaker




msg:4024617
 8:53 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Can someone explain why Murdoch doesn't instruct his webmasters to block Google if they are so upset about this all.

How exactly does one opt out of Google News without disappearing from the Google search engine? In your response, try not to use the words "cake", "eat" or "have" - at least, not in the same sentence.

signor_john




msg:4024618
 8:55 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

...whose companies created the material in the first place...

1) Take a look at Daylife.

2) Just because the oligarchies have created some of the content (and created other content with the help of aggregators such as Daylife) doesn't mean it's in the public interest to have the oligarchies control access to news on the Web.

The oligarchs would love an online media landscape like the old Hollywood studio system where the studios controlled film production, distribution, and exhibition from the scripwriters' typewriters to the movie theatres. The U.S. Supreme Court's Paramount decision put a stop to that, and I'd guess that attempts by Murdoch & Friends to control Web news production, distribution, and display won't have much of a future, either.

signor_john




msg:4024619
 9:00 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

How exactly does one opt out of Google News without disappearing from the Google search engine? In your response, try not to use the words "cake", "eat" or "have" - at least, not in the same sentence.

From the Google News opt-out page [google.com]:

"If you don't want your site to be included in Google News, please let us know and we'll remove it from our index. (This won't remove your site from our Web Search results.)"

mack




msg:4024620
 9:00 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm no Murdoch fan, but I respect him more because of this issue. Murdoch is now fighting for his companies, but in doing so he is trying to save an industry. In my opinion Google news is going a step to far, and I also fear where Google is going.

Googles grand goal of making the worlds information available means your information. As it stands Murdoch is complaining, but perhaps what he does next will determine how Google uses your information in the future.

The one thing that realy ticks me off about Google news is this. They scrape content from all over the web, yet users are required to abide by Googles TOS. What about the publishers terms? That to me means one thing. They don't care!

Mack.

loudspeaker




msg:4024623
 9:12 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

From the Google News opt-out page: "If you don't want your site to be included in Google News, please let us know and we'll remove it from our index. (This won't remove your site from our Web Search results.)"

@ signor_john - excellent point, I didn't know that. And I applaud Google on that (and hope they'll give the same option to content owners whose stuff is used for Maps, Places, etc etc). Still, this process is manual and largely dependent on their goodwill, so the oft-used robots.txt argument isn't exactly valid.

[edited by: loudspeaker at 9:21 pm (utc) on Nov. 13, 2009]

londrum




msg:4024624
 9:14 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

The one thing that realy ticks me off about Google news is this. They scrape content from all over the web, yet users are required to abide by Googles TOS. What about the publishers terms? That to me means one thing. They don't care!

yup. and they always say the same thing... "but all you've got to do is block us in robots.txt"
but if we tried copying their stuff they'd cry foul.

either the snippets fall within fair use, or they don't. if they're claiming that they do, and we're not blocked by their robots.txt, which we're not, then there should be no reason why we can't scrape google news ourselves.

Demaestro




msg:4024629
 9:25 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Can someone explain why Murdoch doesn't instruct his webmasters to block Google if they are so upset about this all.

How exactly does one opt out of Google News without disappearing from the Google search engine? In your response, try not to use the words "cake", "eat" or "have" - at least, not in the same sentence.

From the Google News opt-out page:

"If you don't want your site to be included in Google News, please let us know and we'll remove it from our index. (This won't remove your site from our Web Search results.)"

Ok so I ask again.

If he doesn't want his news to appear in their results why doesn't he block them? Why?

Demaestro




msg:4024633
 9:36 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

but if we tried copying their stuff they'd cry foul.

What makes you think they would cry foul if you did it within the same rules that they do?

londrum




msg:4024637
 9:46 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

you're saying if we don't opt out, then we can't complain if google takes our stuff and makes money off it.

that is what google has done to the web. they have made it opt-out. everything is fair game to them unless we expressly prevent them from using it. it's not like that in any other publishing domain. if you write a book, it's yours. if you record a song, it's yours. if you film a show, it's yours. if you take a photo, it's yours. google are turning the rules around for their own profit.

willybfriendly




msg:4024638
 9:47 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

...doesn't mean it's in the public interest ...

Do we really want to start with the public interest argument.

First, it is a red herring.

Second, is it in the public interest to have a single company control 3/4th's of Internet search traffic and a significant majority of Internet advertising? Is it in the public interest to have a single company collecting such vast amounts of data, much "personally identifiable", regarding user behavior on the Internet. Is it in the public interest to have a single company able to destroy multiple businesses with an arbitrary policy change?

The public interest angle has nothing to do with the issue at hand, and opens an entirely different can of worms regarding both of the current protaganists.

londrum




msg:4024639
 9:49 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

What makes you think they would cry foul if you did it within the same rules that they do?

well i mean if we took the entire page, and stuck our own logo on the top. they would cry foul then.

every individual item on that page is fair game, according to them. they all fall within fair use. but if we tried to scrape the whole lot they'd turn around and say that it all belongs to them -- even though none of the pictures or info are theirs.

willybfriendly




msg:4024644
 10:04 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

What makes you think they would cry foul if you did it within the same rules that they do?

The G-News TOS (which have been quoted at least twice in this thread, and alluded to several more times)?

NY Post TOS
All materials contained in this Site are protected by international trademark and copyright laws and must only be used for personal, non-commercial purposes.

G-News TOS
You may only display the content of the Service for your own personal use (i.e., non-commercial use) and may not otherwise copy, reproduce, alter, modify, create derivative works, or publicly display any content. For example, you may not use the Service to sell a product or service; use the Service to increase traffic to your Web site for commercial reasons...

Demaestro




msg:4024645
 10:05 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)


you're saying if we don't opt out, then we can't complain if google takes our stuff and makes money off it.

No, I am not saying that.... I am saying if he doesn't want them to scrape his content he should take the clearly defined and clearly outlined steps to prevent that from happening. He can complain all he wants, I don't care. The fact remains he isn't taking the steps that we all have to take to stop it.

well i mean if we took the entire page, and stuck our own logo on the top. they would cry foul then.

But that isn't what Google does now is it? Like I pointed out already, if you follow the same rules they do then you are allowed.

I ask again. If he doesn't want his news to appear in their results why doesn't he block them?

Demaestro




msg:4024648
 10:11 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Willy... obviously you can put anything in a TOS it doesn't make it legally binding. If it did NY POST would have a case, and if they had a case they would bring suit. They have a stable of lawyers, if they had a legal leg to stand on they would do something about it in court.

I have been to websites that state in the TOS that viewing source is not allowed. It doesn't mean that I am not allowed.

If Google ignores the NY POST TOS then I suspect that you can ignore Google's.... like I said if you follow the same rules that they do then it is allowed.

moTi




msg:4024668
 11:01 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

whow, rupert got this right. stirring up a pseudo-debate about google scraping content whilst he and other media companies already have the same mechanisms implemented in their business operations. yes, the news industy should launch their own news aggregators everywhere, i'm totally fine with it - they're already doing it. but may i ask what we are discussing about then?

people talking about fair use, headlines and snippets here whereas the real underlying agenda like "how to regain the traditional information gate keeper function on the net" and "which entry barriers can we establish to cash in like in the old times" - is carefully hidden. bullseye, mr murdoch - mission accomplished. still it's a lost battle, hopefully.

signor_john




msg:4024669
 11:05 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

that is what google has done to the web. they have made it opt-out.

Internet search engines were around before Google. They're even older than the Web. What's more, the World Wide Web's purpose from the beginning was "to allow all links to be made to any information anywhere," according to the Web's inventor. If you and Rupert Murdoch want to blame anyone for making the Web "opt-out," blame Tim Berners-Lee, who isn't likely to take the accusation as an insult. :-)

willybfriendly




msg:4024670
 11:07 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

They have a stable of lawyers, if they had a legal leg to stand on they would do something about it in court.

Google's influence on the web has put many, many content producers between the proverbial rock and a hard space, hasn't it?

You are, I assume, familiar with the term Pyrrhic victory...

loudspeaker




msg:4024698
 12:39 am on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

people talking about fair use, headlines and snippets here whereas the real underlying agenda like "how to regain the traditional information gate keeper function on the net" and "which entry barriers can we establish to cash in like in the old times" - is carefully hidden. bullseye, mr murdoch - mission accomplished.

moTi - your criticism of Murdoch (or most other newspaper publishers) may have been valid 10-15 years ago, but this is another era. You really don't see another gatekeeper emerging replacing *all* the other gatekeepers? Seriously?

While there's nothing wrong with improving our access to information (be it through aggregating or through other means), there's something terribly wrong when only one party is authorized to do so, while laying down their rules for everybody.

signor_john




msg:4024719
 1:54 am on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

While there's nothing wrong with improving our access to information (be it through aggregating or through other means), there's something terribly wrong when only one party is authorized to do so, while laying down their rules for everybody.

I wasn't aware that their was only one news aggregator on the Web. Even Mr. Murdoch would disagree with your assessment, unless his employees forgot to tell him that he's a client of Daylife. :-)

signor_john




msg:4024720
 1:55 am on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

While there's nothing wrong with improving our access to information (be it through aggregating or through other means), there's something terribly wrong when only one party is authorized to do so, while laying down their rules for everybody.

I wasn't aware that there was only one news aggregator on the Web. Even Mr. Murdoch would disagree with your assessment, unless his employees forgot to tell him that he's a client of Daylife. :-)

IanCP




msg:4024729
 2:19 am on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

@ loudspeaker

hope they'll give the same option to content owners whose stuff is used for Maps, Places

Google haven't indexed my .gif and .jpg files for years.

As for others and their comments regarding Murdoch as an "information provider", I find that totally laughable.

Murdoch in his entire career has never provided information. Him and, his father before him, have simply provided slanted news, even distorted news, certainly outright lies as news, to further their own agenda and the agenda of like minded people in business and politics.

I can't think of one other person on this planet who has been so successful in dumbing down one or more generations of people and across so many continents.

Even today, a million people across my state of NSW will read his "Daily Telegraph" [print version] and the majority will regard everything as fact.

Fifty years ago people dismissed most newspaper stories as "newspaper talk". So successful has dumbing down been.

moTi




msg:4024738
 3:14 am on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

your criticism of Murdoch (or most other newspaper publishers) may have been valid 10-15 years ago, but this is another era.

well, no. regarding the recent political claims from the news sector for an "intellectual property right" in online publications or the back and forth whether to give away content for free vs hiding behind a paywall, i'd say the agenda (namely the ambitions to regain financial control over the production and distribution of news) is more relevant than ever. in fact, they see it as core issues to save the news industry. but yes, meanwhile everybody should also know, that these are desperate efforts and it's ridiculous to blame google as one of the many news distribution platforms.

murdoch is fighting a lost battle against the structures of the internet. unless there's governmental intervention, market conditions won't really change for him - the traditional news sector is doomed. you guys need to recognize that it's not the fault of google news. again: it's a red herring. murdoch et al would face the same competitive problems on the net if google did not exist. "you get lousy pennies on the web".

one more thing: whereas i agree that googles' share of search traffic is not healthy, they are not forced upon us after all and anyone is free to use alternatives. more than ever if you're in need of a news aggregator.

loudspeaker




msg:4024822
 9:00 am on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

i'd say the agenda (namely the ambitions to regain financial control over the production and distribution of news) is more relevant than ever.

I think that battle is long lost since the natural monopoly resulting from the high price of owning a printing press is gone. The bird is out of the cage.

So I am not worried about Murdoch & Co at all - they can close or open or do whatever they want. What scares me is the world in which there'll be no Newscorp, no NYT, no WSJ, no Guardian, no nothing - only Google News, rehashing (at that point) only blogs and whatever comes after blogs and probably selling ads just the same (eyeballs are eyeballs!)

This would be an incredibly dull and sad world and I believe Google's efforts are leading us there - to the world of one information mega-monopoly.

You may not like Murdoch. Some may not like the Sulzbergers either. I may even agree with you - who are these unelected gatekeepers, anyway? But I find no reason to cheer on the 800-pound gorilla that's killing them all while offering exactly nothing in return. You may get excited seeing all the destruction and blood - well, I don't. With more and more laid off journalists we don't "stick it" to Murdoch. We stick it to ourselves and ultimately, we live poorer lives. Sorry for being philosophical.

vincevincevince




msg:4024836
 10:50 am on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Murdoch and his friends will find out, too late, that the knife cuts both ways. Often, people talk to the press because they want to tell their story whether for personal, commercial or political reasons; and they will want to tell their story somewhere that it can be seen by the world and not just be a few subscribers.

They will quickly learn not to waste time with interviews for the restricted press, and focus their time and resources on those who are happy to have free content and have it indexed. Those outlets will then have been given the tools (via Murdoch's lobbying) to stick the knife into Murdoch if his journalists then try to piggy-back on the story by repeating the facts, leaving him unable to report on many stories at all.

zett




msg:4024859
 11:37 am on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

What amazes me is the slowliness of the media concerning the monopoly that Google has in many areas. But they begin to catch up, and I regard Murdoch's engagement just as one way to alert the general public about the many issues surrounding the power Google holds. Today I picked up a leading German computer magazine that has a multi-page feature covering privacy issues with Google. A lot of Google criticism can be found there (some might call it "bashing"). I think it is very good and healthy to have this discussion. Even better that such critical views are now entering -slowly- mass market publications. This will help the discussion to reach the average Joe.

Remember: The media supported Google back when they were fresh and young and unspoilt. They created a lot of buzz for the two guys in California who developed a service that can find anything. Now the media (and webmasters, too) realize that it's time to get the ghost back into the bottle again.

mack




msg:4024909
 3:57 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Demaestro
If he doesn't want his news to appear in their results why doesn't he block them? Why?

The issue is not with Google search, if he blocked Google he would be removed from conventional organic serps. The issue Murdoch has id with Google taking additional info from his pages and placing snippets on Google news.

Google news has effectivly became the competition, yet they scrape content from the providers.

that is what google has done to the web. they have made it opt-out. everything is fair game to them unless we expressly prevent them from using it.

Bingo! Another reason why Murdoch shouldent let anyone touch the robots.txt file. Thats as good as giving in to the opt out concept.

The irony is Google news is in breach of the Adsense terms and conditions by scraping content for the purpose of showing ads, but thats another topic.

Mack.

davelms




msg:4024932
 4:53 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

if he blocked Google he would be removed from conventional organic serps.

Are you suggesting that Google are not being truthful when they write on their Google News help pages:

"This [removing your site from Google News] won't remove your site from our Web Search results."

Edit - My opinion is that Murdoch could remove his sites from Google News straight away - if he really wanted to - by following the documented procedures that have been put in place for this very purposes. And without impacting on any placement in the organic serps.

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