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Schmidt rejects idea that Google ?steals stories?

Google defends against Murdoch allegations

Google’s Ceo Eric Schmidt has spoken against claims made by the head of New Corp, Rupert Murdoch, that news aggregators steal content.

In an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, Schmidt wrote that newspapers were suffering from diminished revenue and that many news executives were blaming Google, “whom many executives view as getting all the benefit from the business relationship without giving much in return.”

However, Schmidt stated that new aggregators were in fact responsible for a much wider circulation than the papers could have got on their own.

“Google is a great source of promotion,” wrote Schmidt. “We send online news publishers a billion clicks a month from Google News and more than three billion extra visits from our other services, such as Web Search and iGoogle.

“That is 100,000 opportunities a minute to win loyal readers and generate revenue—for free. In terms of copyright, another bone of contention, we only show a headline and a couple of lines from each story. If readers want to read on they have to click through to the newspaper’s Web site.”

He argues that the challenge for traditional news sources was not to keep hold of its intellectual property, but to leverage technology to “develop new ways to reach readers and keep them engaged for longer, as well as new ways to raise revenue combining free and paid access.”

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