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Google News: Better to Receive than Give

Over at TechCrunch, Michael Arrington, picks up on a concern over Google News, raised by TechMeme’s Gabe Rivera.

One thing that bugs me: they?re now hosting original news content, yet they prohibit other aggregators from crawling it (per robots.txt restrictions and TOS). Of course Google News relies on the openness of other organizations with original news content.

image The bottom line? Google’s terms prohibit anyone from spidering or manually copying any content from the Google News service. This wasn’t a big deal when Google News was simply aggregating news from elsewhere, but it’s somewhat hypocritical now that Google News is allowing comments–and hence is now a content host themselves.

Arrington hopes this is just an oversight on Google’s part–and I do too. It’s ironic that Google fights many battles to protect its right to crawl your news content, while at the same time preventing access to its own content.