Posted December 2, 2009 10:08 am by with 7 comments

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For this post, I need two volunteers!

Let’s take this announcement from Google:

…we’ve decided to allow publishers to limit the number of accesses under the First Click Free policy to five free accesses per user each day. This change applies to both Google News publishers as well as websites indexed in Google’s Web Search. We hope that this encourages even more publishers to open up more content to users around the world!

And yes, you sir. The Financial Times report on how much news scraping exists on the web:

The study of 101,000 articles published by 157 newspapers found that more than 75,000 sites reused 112,000 almost exact copies without authorisation, and a further 520,000 articles in part…The study found Google accounted for 53 per cent of the advertising being run alongside unlicensed stories

I will now combine these two articles into an incredible–or incredulous–observation. :-)

Is it pure coincidence that on the day News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch was in Washington telling the FTC about the need to reform "fair use" laws to prevent the "theft" of its content, Attributor pulls out some heavy numbers in support and Google decides to bend a little?

I think not!

Forget the fact that Bing is rumored to be courting the newspaper industry to dump Google, the search engine plans to lose a significant slice of revenue, if the publishing industry faces any kind of mass reform. Think about it, Google offers to change the "First Click Free" terms in order to save the AdSense revenue it makes from bloggers, and the more nefarious scrapers.

It’s a small sacrifice, right?

You’ve heard of the expression "an irresistible force meets an immovable object," right? News Corp. is about to meet Google head-on!

  • Frank Reed

    This is going to be interesting because it may come off like the News Corp appearing in the ring to meet Google as the modern day Muhammad Ali, once great and powerful but changed through time and circumstance while Google is like the most powerful MMA fighter (insert name here) that will run circles around a legend and, unfortunately hurt that legend’s legacy. It’s important to finish well and it looks like Rupert Murdoch doesn’t get that.
    .-= Frank Reed´s last blog ..Yellow Social Media =-.

  • Steve

    Google has an almost insurmountable market share and the Bing user base is primarily the older non computer savvy, i.e. the ones that adopted because it was the line of least resistance.

    Murdoch was throwing his toys because he really needs all the available money and attention and Bing saw this as a potential opportunity. If nothing else it garnered them some publicity.

    ultimately Google will win, the search ecosystem is too stable for their dominance to be seriously challenged anytime soon.
    .-= Steve´s last blog ..Goldman-Sachs Cowboys Buy Guns =-.

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  • Tempo dulu

    I have some sympathy for Murdoch – why should others make money off his content?
    .-= Tempo dulu´s last blog ..Driving a motorcycle in Bali =-.

  • Steven Roddy

    What comes up must go down. Records were made to be broke. World powerhouses were made to be overthrown. Google is really stable and will not go away however, at one time so was Yahoo!.
    .-= Steven Roddy´s last blog ..Time Management Statistics =-.

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