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Summary:

The UK newspaper business has called on the government to stop Google (NSDQ: GOOG) using its content, or else pay up for it. With publishers…

The UK newspaper business has called on the government to stop Google (NSDQ: GOOG) using its content, or else pay up for it. With publishers in an economic hole, The Newspaper Society and the Society Of Editors wrote to culture secretary Andy Burnham with “a list of urgent action points to help the local media industry”.

From the letter: “Recognising that news gathering, the collection of raw material for any media organisation, is especially expensive, ministers could look urgently for effective ways in which Google and others could be prevented from profiting from third party content without recompense to or consent from those who generated the material. This would also be of value to other parts of the media.”

It’s a familiar refrain. Google News lost a court case brought in 2007 by Belgian newspaper association Copiepresse, which sought <a href="http://www.paidcontent.co.uk/entry/419-belgian-newspapers-to-google-pay-us-77m-for-indexing-our-news&quot; title="

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  1. Damien Bidmead Thursday, March 26, 2009

    With the Guardian being so forward thinking and open minded (http://www.guardian.co.uk/open-platform/what-is-the-open-platform) this whiffs of the RIAA's closed minded attempts to manage digital audio content.

    Institutions have to know when their empire is crumbling and come up with forward thinking solutions rather than putting up barricades to stop the waves from knocking down thier sand castles. That doesn't work. Ask a 5 year old.

  2. The problem of aggregators profiting from other people's content is not new. Nor is the recognition of the problem by publishers new. Led by the World Association of Newspapers, the European Publishers Council and the International Publishers Association, work began in 2006 on the development of ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol), http://www.the-acap.org, a standard for the automated communication of permissions. It is essential for copyright holders to work with rather than against the grain of technology – the solution is to harness to technology to make copyright work on the network. It is no longer acceptable for businesses on the Internet to claim that the network is a wild frontier where the rule of law and the principles of civil society do not run – the Internet is now an increasingly mature environment, and it is incumbent on governments to act to make sure that the public policy objectives of copyright are not destroyed. Over 800 publishers worldwide have implemented ACAP so far. It is not critical for the search engines and other aggregators to do the same.

    Mark Bide
    ACAP Project Director

  3. Rather crucial amendment to last comment: "It is now critical for the search engines and other aggregators to do the same."

    Mark Bide
    ACAP Project Director

  4. The problem here is that publishers want to have their cake and eat it too. All websites have the ability to stop search engines from crawling their content (robots.txt). Until search engines choose to adopt ACAP this is the only means of controlling legitimate search engine's behaviour.

    If a publisher were to block crawling and THEN negotiate with Google for revenue perhaps they would find out the true value of their content.

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