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Murdoch To Explore Blocking Google Searches

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the why-is-no-one-calling-for-his-head dept.

The Internet 549

In another move sure to continue the certain doom looming over classic publications, Rupert Murdoch has elaborated on the direction he would take in an effort to monetize the content that his websites deliver by attempting to block much of Google's ability to scan and index his news sites. "Murdoch believes that search engines cannot legally use headlines and paragraphs of news stories as search results. 'There's a doctrine called "fair use," which we believe to be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether,' Mr Murdoch told the TV channel. 'But we'll take that slowly.'"

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549 comments

Robots.txt (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30039770)

Am I genius?

Re:Robots.txt (5, Insightful)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039862)

The problem with techies, they need to learn to think like a businessman. We control the information, get it together techies!

Maybe the answer is robots.txt; but that is not what you tell a billionaire if he asks you.

Re:Robots.txt (2, Interesting)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040062)

I wonder if Google could argue that by not using robots.txt, Murdoch had essentially given permission to have his sites searched and indexed. Or, more likely, his sites probably do use a robots.txt file, but only forbid searching certain sections (ie, archives where nothing changes, therefore no reason to waste bandwidth), in which case the appearance that permission was granted would be much more compelling.

Good. (5, Insightful)

aztektum (170569) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039774)

The faster Rupert puts himself out of business, the better off everyone will be.

Re:Good. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30039914)

The faster Rupert puts himself out of business, the better off everyone will be.

While this sentiment is unanimous, it'll never be allowed to happen. Having all the morons on your side is enough to get away with... the entire Bush presidency.

Re:Good. (2, Informative)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039926)

In the early 1990's The Times and The Sunday Times had archive (over a week old articles), which you had to pay to access, there was even a CD-ROM of the updated archive every couple of months, which you had to pay for of course. It was SUCH a great success that the newspaper decided to go for free on the internet, because nobody wanted to pay up for what they could get elsewhere. So now Rupert is going full circle.

Re:Good. (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040196)

If my local paper [theage.com.au] offered a good online subscription I would sign up. What I want to see is:

  • No adverts
  • Access to all archives
  • Good searching (like with a google appliance)
  • Revision history
  • Access to raw source material
  • Access to comment pages on all stories

In fact, pretty much what I can get from /. right now. All of that should be easy to implement. They just need to open their eyes and look around.

Re:Good. (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040210)

The faster Rupert puts himself out of business, the better off everyone will be.

Old man yells at the cloud.

Murdoch is losing it. He's beating himself with the crazy stick lately.

It's bound to happen sooner or later (4, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040218)

What else do you expect from a man in charge of a company that nearly sued itself [guardian.co.uk] over the one show that singlehandedly kept the network from dying an early death?

I don't think I get it... (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039776)

He wants to make more money by making his headlines not available to the top search engine?

Re:I don't think I get it... (5, Funny)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039794)

It's almost like he doesn't know what he's talking about, isn't it.

Re:I don't think I get it... (4, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039952)

I think they are trying to separate themselves to state that if you want the news, come to us and do it properly.

Have you ever searched for some information, and Google gave a hit where the surrounding text of the query already answers your question? And then not clicked the website?

Re:I don't think I get it... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040086)

I think they are trying to separate themselves to state that if you want the news, come to us and do it properly.

Have you ever searched for some information, and Google gave a hit where the surrounding text of the query already answers your question? And then not clicked the website?

But those are two different scenarios, if I want the news, I WILL click on a link and read the full article (not here on /. mind you). I've never had a situation where the Headline on any news site or news article tells me enough of what I want to know.

As for the second scenario - that happens less than 1% of the time, at least for me.

Re:I don't think I get it... (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040154)

Have you ever searched for some information, and Google gave a hit where the surrounding text of the query already answers your question?

For general information? Yes. For news? No.

I begin my day with oatmeal and Google News. If a story isn't linked from there, then it doesn't get read.

Better yet (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040206)

Have you ever searched for some information, and Google gave a hit where the surrounding text of the query already answers your question? And then not clicked the website?

Sometimes, but other times I do visit it. Now if the search result does not have surrounding text then I just don't bother with that link at all.

Re:I don't think I get it... (1, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040250)

I think they are trying to separate themselves to state that if you want our propaganda and lies, come to us and do it properly.

FTFY

Re:I don't think I get it... (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040144)

I don't see why google just doesn't stop indexing their stuff for a while, and waiting for them to scream about how they're no longer in the serch results.

Then tell Murdoch "How much are you going to pay to be back in?"

Then, no matter how much he offers, say, "Not enough."

When he says "Well, how much would it cost?" reply "In your dreams, fatboy!"

This is just baffling! (4, Informative)

Anrego (830717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039778)

It has to be political.. there has to be something going on behind the scenes here.

He's not that stupid a person.. and there's no way that someone hasn't explained to him what a robots.txt file is by now..

How has this not happened? Even mainstream media tends to at least try to get a statement from both sides.

I'm sure if the BBC had contacted google.. they would have gotten lots of information on the subject. Or at least a quote they could include.. something along the lines of "google engineer x would like to remind Newscorp that they can _completely_ "block" us (and many others) from "stealing" their content by putting a simple text file on their site.

This is NOT baffling! (5, Insightful)

absurdist (758409) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039838)

From the Summary: "'There's a doctrine called "fair use," which we believe to be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether,' Mr Murdoch told the TV channel. 'But we'll take that slowly.'" Fair use is the target here. They don't want anyone to ever be able to use any current culture without payment and approval.

Re:This is just baffling! (5, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039878)

Google have mentioned "robots.txt" pretty much every time Murdoch has spoken about this idea or anyone has cared to ask them for a comment. They've done so that many times in fact that I expect they've resorted to sending sample "robots.txt" files over to News Corp. just to get them to shut up and leave them alone and have possibly even considered proactively bypassing News Corp's sites. Personally, I think the endless rhetoric from Murdoch and complete lack of action on behalf of News Corp. is because either this boils down to a serious difference of opinion between Murdoch and a good chunk of his senior staff or they have their doubts and don't want to go it alone just in case.

Re:This is just baffling! (3, Interesting)

Romancer (19668) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040040)

Easy solution for Google.

1. Block any and all direct links to Newscorp owned sites in the search results.

2. Downrank any sites that link to Newscorp owned sites as irrelevant linking. (They have this for counteracting googlebombing.)

3. Systematically provide alternative sources for any search results that would have linked to Newscorp owned sites.
.

So eventually even a search for "Newscorp" brings up every one of their competitors websites bashing them for being stupid, old, ignorant and irrelevant.

Re:This is just baffling! (4, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040094)

He wants the money that google is getting, that is what this is about. I suspect he heard about "robots.txt" before slashdot existed but quietly blocking things doesn't help him - he wants to make a lot of noise and then get governments to pass laws to restrict the internet so he can make more money from it.
It's not a lack of action. The action in progress is to make a lot of noise and blow this thing out of proportion. I suspect it will get to the major headline stage for a while before this goes away.

Re:This is just baffling! (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040190)

I suspect he heard about "robots.txt" before slashdot existed

Just out of curiosity, what is it that you think Mr. Murdoch does for a living that he would have been familiar with "robots.txt" prior to 1997?

Re:This is just baffling! (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039888)

It has to be political.. there has to be something going on behind the scenes here. He's not that stupid a person.. and there's no way that someone hasn't explained to him what a robots.txt file is by now..

Of course. Merdoch (or his minons) know this. There are probably two things going on: A lame attempt to convince the public that he is being ripped off, and also he is almost certainly in discussions with Google about having Google pay for the content that Google clearly profits from. Neither will work out. And until web content of these "publications" provide a lot more value to the consumer, pay-for-access is a dead idea as well.
Of course there are certain publications, like the WSJ that can pull it off, but most can not, and certainly not local newspapers.

Re:This is just baffling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30040096)

Agreed. There's other coverage here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2009/11/murdoch_vs_google.html [npr.org] that includes this quote:

"I think we will [remove our websites from Google's search index] but that's when we start charging," Murdoch said. He added: "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. 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."

Re:This is just baffling! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040276)

and certainly not local newspapers.

But most papers are local and it is in that domain where content is most valuable. Say you want to get data on past car accidents in your street so you can campaign for the local council to spend money on improvements. Paying for records from a local news source would be a good way to do that.

Re:This is just baffling! (1)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040314)

Of course there are certain publications, like the WSJ that can pull it off, but most can not, and certainly not local newspapers.

On the contrary, I think that local papers are one of the few papers that could pull this off.

For example, searching for news on the Bozeman, MT gas explosion [google.com] yields results from a handful of local papers (This was a pretty major, although local event that happened earlier this year). There is absolutely no major news coverage, everything is from a handful of local news sites. If they all charged for access, you couldn't get this news online for free.

However, something that a major site like Fox would cover will be available from hundreds of sites, at least one of which will be free.

!Baffling... Bluffing (2, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039892)

This is all a ploy to negotiate with Google some more beneficial (to Murdoch) terms. I can only see it working if he also manages to get a critical mass of other publications' owners to do the same thing.
They don't have to move in lockstep if he does have a coalition going. He can block WSJ.com, claim some victory, show it as a case model, and hope others buy his idea (WSJ does not need Google, but the example would probably not work for many other not-as-self-sustaining sites).

It's not politics, it's purely (an attempt to save a failed) business (model). If Rupert doesn't have a coalition going, there's only so much posturing he can do before actually cutting off his nose to spite his face [wikipedia.org].

Re:!Baffling... Bluffing (2, Informative)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039940)

Actually I think absurdist's post had it, this is all just him repeating the lie enough times that he can get his followers to back him up and then challenge fair use entirely.

Re:!Baffling... Bluffing (2, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040302)

Actually I think absurdist's post had it, this is all just him repeating the lie enough times that he can get his followers to back him up and then challenge fair use entirely.

Similar tactics of repeating lies until people believe them worked with the "liberal media conspiracy" and the "fox news is fair and balanced" lines, at least in some circles.

Re:This is just baffling! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30039938)

Apparently you're unfamiliar with Mr. Murdoch's favored style of "journalism". You simply state what you think *should* be true, and then cite it repeatedly as "some say X", possibly with a side of tits. USians are most familiar with this from Faux News, but it's apparently practiced throughout the media empire.

Re:This is just baffling! (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039946)

He knows about robots.txt.

See this story (On one of his own sites): http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,573329,00.html [foxnews.com] where it is mentioned.

Paid subscriptions is his plan.

He has to eliminate search engines because he wants to move news to a subscription basis. But he knows he can never be successful at that as long as anyone else provides advertiser supported free access.

So its all talk. He knows it would be suicidal to make this move alone, and is trying to drum up support among all the big news providers.

But even THAT would not work when local newspapers and TV stations put news on line, because Google would simply index those remaining free providers, which often provide a more complete story anyway.

The world has changed, and Rupert still thinks he's selling newspapers on the corner.

Re:This is just baffling! (2, Interesting)

smclean (521851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040152)

I agree with your take on this, but what I don't get is how Murdoch is able to continue in this campaign.

It seems to me that he is damaging his reputation and the reputation of his companies with all the press this idea is generating. Does he not have advisors that he consults with before making these press releases? ...I wonder if he just fires anyone who attempts to talk him out of it? The whole thing seems starkly suicidal. Who would invest in such an idea? Are there actually people who believe it can work?

Re:This is just baffling! (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039950)

We are talking about a man with an ego that demands if a mountain blocks his path, the mountain be removed. What he knows is he doesn't give a fig what he can do on his side, he wants it to be on their heads.

Re:This is just baffling! (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039990)

It has to be political

It is most definitely political and he's been making noise around the world about this for a few months.
It's not just google that he is complaining about, it's the BBC as well. He's attempting to make the internet look like a den of pirates and thieves and then prompt governments to nobble it so that he can make money.

Re:This is just baffling! (1)

beatsme (1472991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040104)

I agree with you, and what's interesting is that the article didn't make any attempt to contextualize this in terms of "HOW" he will go about blocking Google indexing. Then again, in light of this being a political move, and the fact that Murdoch owns "Sky News", the company to whom he confessed this tidbit, it's not surprising.

Re:This is just baffling! (1)

N7DR (536428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040124)

I'm sure if the BBC had contacted google.. they would have gotten lots of information on the subject. Or at least a quote they could include.. something along the lines of "google engineer x would like to remind Newscorp that they can _completely_ "block" us (and many others) from "stealing" their content by putting a simple text file on their site.

The BBC did have an interview with someone from google on this issue on the World Service a couple of days ago. The google spokesman did make the point (without going into the details of robots.txt) that Mr. Murdoch is completely at liberty to stop Google from indexing his sites. Actually, I got the distinct impression that the google person thought that this was all somewhat of an unbelievable joke, since the solution was so simple, and rested entirely in Mr. Murdoch's hands.

Re:This is just baffling! (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040186)

It has to be political.. there has to be something going on behind the scenes here. He's not that stupid a person..

I'm afraid he is. He's an old school newspaper rag man who knows nothing else and he doesn't have the wherewithall in a million years to make his organisation exist in any other way. If you want an example of he is you need look no further than Eliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies, the last decent Bond villain there will be for quite some time. In fact, that's the situation Murdoch would love to be in. However, he simply doesn't comprehend that News Corporation is not the centre of the news world when it comes to people getting their information - and they don't have to.

and there's no way that someone hasn't explained to him what a robots.txt file is by now..

They probably have, but it would make no difference. He probably still firmly believes that there is a way to stop Google from aggregating news altogether, whether it be News Corp's or from somewhere else. It's costing him money. If News Corp's financial situation gets much worse then expect legal action to be taken against Google along the lines of "We deserve to be in business because we are appointed by God". As someone in the UK I wouldn't be happier if a side-effect of that was that BSkyB went bust.

I'm sure if the BBC had contacted google..

Google don't give a shit. I wouldn't. In the current climate the only way to stem advertising declines is to intelligently use content as a vehicle for better, targetted advertising. That means grabbing your technology and making it better. News Corp couldn't do that if their lives depended on it. In the face of that Murdoch is going back to what ne knows. He still believes that the content itself is what makes money i.e. selling newspapers....and he can then make a bit more by throwing advertising on top. If that doesn't work (it's not much of an 'if) then expect some kicking, screaming and general stamping of feet.

Re:This is just baffling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30040244)

In fairness to Murdoch, he most likely wants to block _all_ syndicated (duplicated) FOX News content from appearing on Google, not just his own website. This is FOX News's privilege as a copyright owner, and robots.txt will _not_ do this. Either Murdoch forces all syndicating websites to block his content manually (impractical!) or Google will need a custom solution.

Ummm... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30039786)

Robots.txt?

robots.txt (-1, Redundant)

jonniesmokes (323978) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039788)

Why does he not just use robots.txt, and then google will not scan or index his sites? He cannot have it both ways, being indexed and not allowing the search results to be displayed. This whole argument seems absurd.

Re:robots.txt (3, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040122)

The problem with using robots.txt, from his POV, is that it's purely advisory, and requires the cooperation of the spider in question. Yes, I'm sure that Google's spider is configured to honor it, but as long as it can be ignored, people like Murdoch are sure that it will be because that's what they'd do.

Freeze him out (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039792)

If I were Google, I'd just cut all his sites off for a month and let them see how far their click-revenue falls off.

No google news, No search results, nothing.

The guy asked for it, so give it to him.

Re:Freeze him out (3, Funny)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039826)

It would be even more effective to block known IP blocks of his businesses from any inbound or outbound access to Google services for a month.

Re:Freeze him out (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039960)

Oddly enough, simply inspecting the source of any of his sites shows he uses Google as a source of advertising for his heavily ad-laden pages.

Re:Freeze him out (1)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040102)

It would be even more effective to block known IP blocks of his businesses from any inbound or outbound access to Google services for a month.

If by "effective" you mean "completely retarded", I would agree.

What you're proposing is a completely unnecessary and misguided act of vengeance on Google's part. Even if Newscorp does what Murdoch wishes, what harm would Google suffer?

Re:Freeze him out (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039962)

That would be Evil (tm).

And for good reason. The last thing I want is for google to start deciding what news I should see and shouldn't see.

Re:Freeze him out (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040090)

Google aren't deciding. The senile old cunt with the chameleon nationality is just getting what he asked for.

And I'll tell you another thing, his son is twice the asshole he is - minimum.

Re:Freeze him out (1)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039966)

That'll never happen. Do you have any idea how much money Google/DoubleClick makes off News Corp through advertising? I don't know the exact numbers, but I'm pretty sure it's not insignificant.

Re:Freeze him out (4, Insightful)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040156)

as funny as that would be, i don't want to see google getting into the habit of cutting off *anyone*. as long as the information is indexable, they should display it. let murdoch be a baby and block it from his own end with robots.txt if he wants, but don't play childish games with children. they should just ignore him.

What Google should do is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30039796)

Google should explore removing all pages from Murdoch's papers from their searches in protest. Most people would be very upset if Google did this to them, but I guess Murdoch would be happy enough.

Cutting off his nose to spite his face?

Look on the bright side (1, Insightful)

Dartz-IRL (1640117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039800)

No more Fox News on Google search results. More space on the front page for 'better' sources.

Use Robots.txt (0, Redundant)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039804)

you dumbass! All you have to do is deny /* or whatever and google won't index you. More likely, this is just posturing for a bribe - maybe it'd work better if he ran a news site.

Who? (1)

bobstreo (1320787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039810)

I stopped reading newspapers (that I pay for) a long time ago. I still read the sunday paper, for the ads
and comics.

Wire services, well there are always some online news services, and once Murdoch's empire has
devalued totally, maybe google will buy them in bankruptcy.

robots.txt???? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30039822)

mmmm, update robots.txt and say good bye to your business.

Good luck, Murdoch (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039824)

Yes, I am sure that barring searching engines from listing your headlines will do wonders for your revenue. It's not like your competitors are allowing those results or anything like that! Everyone knows that your customers will go to your websites without any help from search engines!

As for fair use? Yeah, it's not like news websites ever make use of that doctrine.

Re:Good luck, Murdoch (4, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039932)

Everyone knows that your customers will go to your websites without any help from search engines!

Considering who actually consumes Murdoch's media, it wouldn't surprise me if they instinctively seek out his biased media by name. Kind of like how most Slashdotters probably don't google stories from Slashdot; they just click the bookmark and read the site.

This has nothing to do with Fair Use (0, Troll)

fandingo (1541045) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039832)

I know the slash-tards think everything is fair use, but this has nothing to do with it. It has to do with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_News_Service_v._Associated_Press [wikipedia.org] The term is called "hot news." The ruling basically states that you can't copyright the facts with current events.

Fair use is a defense when you are guilty of copyright infringement. It's an extenuating circumstance. On the other hand, Google has not engaged in copyright infringement because the articles themselves are not copyrightable in the short-term -- as the events are happening. They do not need to use a fair use because the headlines/summaries they are copying are not under copyright.

Re:This has nothing to do with Fair Use (2, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039896)

Ummm, while it maybe fun to bash the "Slashtards" it was Murdoch himself who invoked the concept of Fair Use.

Re:This has nothing to do with Fair Use (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30039908)

Hey dick sucker: Murdoch brought up fair use himself. l2read or something you dumb piece of shit.

Re:This has nothing to do with Fair Use (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040150)

Fair use is a defense when you are guilty of copyright infringement.

If it's a valid defence then you aren't guilty.

Re:This has nothing to do with Fair Use (4, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040234)

Fair use is a defense when you are guilty of copyright infringement. It's an extenuating circumstance.

Wrong. Fair use is a defense to use when you are accused of copyright infringement. If you prove that what you did is covered by fair use, you are not guilty of infringing because Fair Use is an exception to copyright. An extenuating circumstance is something you invoke either after you are found guilty (in a criminal case) or as part of your defense in a civil case in an attempt to lower or avoid any fines, judgments or other penalties. Your basic idea is right, that Google isn't infringing, but your explanation of Fair Use was wrong and misleading. N.B.: IANAL, but I am a writer, and have had reason to familiarize myself with the concept.

Thesaurus? (0)

nermaljcat (895576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039864)

Google should just change the headings slightly using a Thesaurus or some Semantics.

Re:That other word book; no, not the dictionary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30040010)

The #1 search engine could really alter a title somewhat with that other word book (no, not the dictionary) and other word meanings.

Heck, they could do it to content and noone would be the wiser!

(Replacing "or" is hard.)

Rephrase what he wants (4, Interesting)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039870)

There's a department store. It probably carries a lot of merchandise. But the store owner wants everybody to pay him a fee to walk through the front door. And he wants the local papers to not say what he carries, or what he's got on sale this week. He feels that he should be the only one getting paid for anything that mentions his merchandise.

Would you bother going to his store? Or would you go to the Target or Wal-Mart that's happy to have a flyer in the paper listing everything they've got on sale this week.

Yeah, thought so.

It's your right to be stupid and wrong-headed, Mr. Murdoch. Everyone has that gods-given right. But don't come whining to us when your plan fails to go the way you want it to go. We, after all, never signed any agreement saying we'd only behave the way you want.

Re:Rephrase what he wants (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040012)

While I agree that Murdoch is being stupid, your analogy is somewhat flawed.

In the case of news, the merchandise IS the message. Many people read nothing more than the headlines. For many news articles, the synopsis often carries 90% of the value of the article; the rest is reactions and analysis that an astute reader could provide without help.

Murdoch believes that if people are reading the headlines at his site, many will feel they've gotten everything, and not buy a subscription. He knows he'll lose some people who click through, but he's betting that enough people will decide to actually pay him instead.

I think he's wrong; he over-values his merchandise. But he's the zillionaire and I'm not.

Re:Rephrase what he wants (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040262)

I have never read just the headlines for a news story I'm interested in. I always want more. And the synopsis that Google carries on Google news is just a couple of lines - maybe less. So putting out headlines and a line or so of synopsis makes perfect sense IMHO.

Re:Rephrase what he wants (1)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040358)

For many news articles, the synopsis often carries 90% of the value of the article; the rest is reactions and analysis that an astute reader could provide without help.

Sadly, that's too often the case for current news outlets, but it's not what quality journalism is about. However, Murdoch isn't at all interested in quality news. He's solely interested in money and power, the latter biased heavily in his case towards techniques of information control. High quality news has no place within his goals.

No more FoxNews in my search results! (2, Insightful)

teknomage1 (854522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039872)

This is awesome! Now I don't have to sort through all the FoxNews crap in search results.

Re:No more FoxNews in my search results! (2, Interesting)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039934)

FoxNews seems to dominate my personalized headlines at news.google.com, even when the story is highly irrelevant or a tangent to the topic on hand.

I'd love to be able to block Fox News. I'd also like to block all the Sports news that keeps creeping into my newsfeeds, despite my attempts to prevent it. I'm not interested in Sports news.

Dislikes foxnews AND sports... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30040114)

This is good. I hope you are atheist as well.

Re:Dislikes foxnews AND sports... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30040368)

"This is good. I hope you are atheist as well." -- Shill

I too would like to block propaganda media owned by this one man especially when they all litterly say the same thing.. People are waking up www.infowars.com

Massive engineering effort required! (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039876)

I like how the tone of the headline and article implies some heavy handed operation here. As if "blocking Google" required a massive engineering effort, or it was tricky to block Google.

In reality, this can be done with robots.txt (which Google honors). If you don't trust robots.txt, it's a few lines in a web server configuration file can make sure that all connections from Google will be blocked.

I agree with some other posters. The aggressive language indicates that something else is happening here, behind the scenes. Either that, or you have some really clueless managers at Murdoch's organizations.

Re:Massive engineering effort required! (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039978)

Murdoch comes off as someone facing a culture shock and has no interest in trying to adapt. I don't know why Google doesn't just do a preemptive strike and drop them from the search engine. This has the other effect of making people using Google toolbar think the site doesn't exist. They could always point to a DMCA style take down page and then offer alternative news sources.

We could always start putting Murdoch's site in red, using the WOT tool ;)

Re:Massive engineering effort required! (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040280)

because google is not into childish games of retaliation and threats. if news corp puts out a robots.txt google will honor it, if they get a court order google will honor that too, public whining just gets sent to /dev/null

Re:Massive engineering effort required! (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040294)

> I don't know why Google doesn't just do a preemptive strike and drop them
> from the search engine.

Why should they? It's not as though he is any threat to them.

Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30039902)

No more Faux news in my google news page!

<speedracer>buh bye little turd!</speedracer>

You guys are smarter than this (3, Funny)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039916)

He's asking Google to pay him to index his site.

Parse it out...

1) They're stealing his headlines
2) Google may or may not have the right to search
3) We'll attack their right to search
4) So if they know what's good for them, pay us to be included in google searches

Re:You guys are smarter than this (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040226)

Except that Google is the one providing the service. If he doesn't want to be scanned he can put that txt file in to stop it. If he thinks that he is going to get Google to pay for Google doing work - he's very mistaken. Google will drop him like a bad habit and they will be just fine.

The last angry twitches of a dieing media format (1)

Xeoz (1648225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30039974)

Newspapers are a dieing media. The time when everyone pays for a subscription to get yesterdays news is over. This is just the frustration of a billionaire watching his format die. If he was willing to adapt and embrace new media then he would find new ways to make money. To bad, we need good journalists in new media, not stuck in the past with angry old men.

challenged (3, Insightful)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040054)

"Murdoch believes that search engines cannot legally use headlines and paragraphs of news stories as search results.

Indeed, they can't, without Murdoch's permission. Lucky for Google that Murdoch grants them permission in their robots.txt.

'There's a doctrine called "fair use," which we believe to be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether,'

"We"? As in the "royal we"? Challenged by who? On what grounds?

The only thing that seems to be "challenged" here is Murdoch's intellect and ethics. Well, actually, it's beyond "challenged", it's just rotten.

Crook! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30040120)

Murdoch knows nothing about how the internet runs, freedom and web crawling. Does he really think that subscriptions based news is the way forward? These people are after one thing....YOUR MONEY!
Sky/Direct TV is a Murdoch Monopoly and brainwashes you into buying their exorbitant packages.....do the psychology on this people.
Do not buy ANY newspapers, he probably owns one of them, save on paper as well.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

Google all your news :)

Reaching Consumers (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040132)

Hmm, let see.

Consumer wants info on "The XYZ Co" and hits Google, Yahoo, Bing.

Content Providers want to push their advertisers so they get income,... so

Content Providers seek as many consumer eyes as possible,...while

Murdock figures out how to crash the eyes visiting his websites.

God, he must secretly want to retire.

WHo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30040138)

And we all thought that Bill Gates was the evil emperor...

interesting stuff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30040158)

Lets build a new internet using vpn, daisy chained wireless devices and open source satellites. Then we can hand the empty old internet over to these corporations and politicians to fight over.
The problems they apparently face will be solved. They can have their chicken and egg situation and eat it.

Has anybody noticed...... (2, Funny)

taksraven (1224462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30040192)

.....as he gets older that Rupert looks *and* acts more and more like Mr Burns. This comment will probably get me on a NewsCorp hitllist.

Do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30040318)

Throw up that robots.txt, and watch your business wither...

Here's the code for it:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

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