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21/05/2007

As predicted on Open: Google to pay for UK newspaper content

* * Updated * *

* * Update: Google has denied the reports of a deal... we'll keep watching this one... * *  

Oh, I so got this right... ish.

According to the Sunday Herald:

INTERNET SEARCH engine Google is understood to have reached deals with several large UK news groups over carrying their content on Google News.

The deals are reputedly being kept strictly secret for fear that Google will end up having to pay for similar licences with all of the 4500 news services it carries on its news aggregator.

Details are not clear yet, but this story has big implications for online news distribution - analysis later, but for now: if Google has to pay - who else? And, if Google pays the Telegraph Media Group and News International (my bet for two of the people who will be at the forefront of this deal) who else gets a pay day soon?:

Although the Sunday Herald could not confirm which news groups had reached deals with Google, it looks likely that it has bowed to pressure from news groups. The company did not return calls before going to press.

There's some more analysis on Techcrunch, which concludes: "Fair use provisions are stronger under US law than in Europe so it may remain primarily a European issue at this time."

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Comments

Similar approach to the NLA seeking revenue for newspapers for copying their work? Presumably as newspaper sales and advertising revenue decline, alternative income is being sought from whatever means possible. Will they also seek to stop people commenting generally on what is in the papers? Frankly as more news increasingly originates from other sources, papers being more about reflecting rather than reporting.

Interesting thought - yes. The rules of the market are being established, but how that market plays out - who the winners and losers will be - is far from certain.

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