“If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content for nothing, what would Google do?” he asked. “We have a situation today where effectively the content is being paid for by the newspapers and stolen by Google, etcetera. That can last for a short time, but it can’t last forever. I think Google and the boys understand that. We’re going to see new deals and new formulas in the media space that reflect the reality of cost benefit.” Source The Stanford Daily.
I don't see a single advertisement on Google News. All I see is a site that has become popular, driving tons of traffic to newspaper Web sites around the world. The traffic that Google generates for these Web sites is captured as revenue by and for the publishers, not Google. I recently heard a Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter say that 10% of their site traffic is due to Google News and that they routinely get traffic from around the world that they would not have otherwise. Google News represents a business opportunity. Perhaps not seeing this is why the newspapers are failing.
If newspapers don't want to share their headlines and abstracts, stop publishing RSS feeds. Furthermore, if you don't want Google News to crawl your content, exclude them in your robots.txt file (for you non-technologists, there is a simple way for newspapers to set up their Web sites to be excluded from Google News).
Is Zell out to outlaw the hyperlink?
There is a gigantic difference between the fair use involved in republishing headlines and abstracts (offered in an automated format to everyone via the newspaper's RSS feeds as well as left open in robots.txt) vs. the full length video clips of Daily Show segments republished by YouTube. These scenarios are apples and oranges. It's unfair to compare them.
"If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content, how profitable would Google be?" Zell said during the question period after his speech. "Not very."
Is Sam Zell really this clueless (he did just pay $8.2 billion for an allegedly declining newspaper empire)? Has he not noticed that Google search significant revenue-based business models well beyond news?