Publishers V.S. Google

It all boils down to who is going to make the money, publishers or Google. With technology changing the news industry, publishers are now at odds with Google, and want a piece of the profits Google is receiving from its online news distribution. Newspapers are citing unfair use of content. A major point in question is whether Google’s use of headlines, snippets and news stories in Google News is to be considered “fair use” under copyright law, or a misappropriation of newspaper content.

Google’s chief executive Eric E. Schmidt spoke Tuesday at a convention of newspaper executives, a move that surprised many considering the distraught position newspapers are in, and the finger they are pointing toward Google. Newspapers are accusing Google of succeeding at their expense. Google pointed out that the heavy traffic they get from search and news services drives a huge amount of traffic directly to newspaper web sites, where the publishers monetize. It is appropriate to note that no newspaper at this point has opted to keep its content off Google and Google news, a technologically simple task.

Despite the controversy, all parties remained professional and polite during the exchange. Newspaper companies have been unwilling to test the issue in court, where Google’s fair-use arguments could prevail. The issue remains a balancing act, with both sides poised to reverberate. The newspapers enjoy the traffic and revenue provided by Google, and does not want to pay for that traffic, but also wants to charge them for marketing their content? It is interesting how technology is positively affecting aging business models like newspapers and record labels. Brought to you by Blue Interactive, your online business strategy and web design source.