Rupert Murdoch and News Corp came out swinging this week with eyes on Google. It’s not a secret that News Corp has been struggling along with many traditional news organizations. It’s just easier to hop online and get the latest news than it is to pull out a newspaper where you’ll only find news that’s already old. News Corp has been losing ad revenue, and earlier this year Murdoch announced the potential for News Corp to charge people to access news on its Web site in the future — a move that flies in the face of the future of communications and information sharing.
Now, Murdoch wants to ban all News Corp content from Google search results claiming that Google is violating fair use laws by republishing titles and snippets without permission. My first reaction to this was to actually laugh out loud. I’m just glad I wasn’t drinking or eating at that moment or I could have been in serious trouble. Again, News Corp is failing to see the long term evolution of information sharing and communications. Blocking content from online searches is the equivalent of keeping your company’s phone number unlisted decades ago. It’s laughable.
Of course, one can speculate that Murdoch would be happy to allow Google to republish its content titles and snippets in return for a fee. No one has come out and said that yet (as far as I know, correct me if I’m wrong), but I think it’s safe to assume that’s what’s coming.
The problem with this strategy for Murdoch and News Corp? I doubt Google cares. Not only that, but I doubt many consumers care either.
Instead of embracing new forms of communication and information sharing and finding a new business model that will actually work for the next 10 years, Murdoch and News Corp are relying on a bullying tactic. Actually, it’s more like a tantrum (“we’re losing, so we don’t want to play with you anymore”). Unfortunately, it’s not going to work and it certainly doesn’t put the News Corp brand in a positive position.
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