Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch intends to block News Corp content from Google search engines as part of his plan to turn the websites into subscription-only zones.
He told the one-third News-owned broadcaster Sky News Australia that he would explore ways to remove News Corp stories from all Google sites, including Google News, according to the BBC.
“The people who simply just pick up everything and run with it — steal our stories, we say they steal our stories — they just take them,” Murdoch says in an interview with Sky’s David Speers.
“That’s Google, that’s Microsoft, that’s Ask.com, a whole lot of people…They shouldn’t have had it free all the time, and I think we’ve been asleep.”
Google currently indexes the headline and first few words of news that is behind a subscription barrier, but Murdoch is considering refusing to let the company do even that once his news outlets adopt a subscription-only model.
Murdoch said he believed the practice of using the headlines and paragraphs of news stories as search results violated the fair use doctrine. He also hinted at possible court action challenging the practice.
News Corp had initially planned to begin charging for access at all of its news websites by June next year, but Murdoch last week suggested that News Corp would be unlikely to make that deadline.
The Google block would not come into effect until after sites begin charging, Murdoch said.
A Google spokesperson told the Telegraph that it will comply with any news outlet's wish to be excluded from search results.
But he added that Google's search portals send news organizations around 100,000 clicks per minute, making the sites a “tremendous source of promotion.”
Google uses technical standards – the same standards used by nearly every search engine - to prevent its sites from indexing content webmasters wish to keep private, he said.
The publications in the News Corp stable include Australia's The Australian and the Daily Telegraph, the UK's the Times and the Sun, and the Wall Street Journal and New York Post in the US.