Google Boss: Newspapers Are Our Friends

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"In that model, newspapers become platforms for the technology to use their services, to build businesses on top of them, and also to interlink—hyperlink—all the different information sources that end users will take," said Schmidt in a keynote speech to the Newspaper Association of America in San Diego Tuesday, according to numerous published reports of his remarks.

Earlier this week, the Associated Press said it would take legal action against Web sites that used its work—and the work of news organizations it distributes—without permission. In a statement, the AP said it would "develop a system to track content distributed online to determine if it is being legally used."

While a statement from the AP did not specify companies whose platforms concern the news service, news executives told The New York Times that they're worried about how searches for their articles allow Google and other sites to make money selling ads against search terms.

The AP said it would create its own search pages to point readers to breaking news.

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"We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories," said AP Chairman William Dean Singleton at the Newspaper Association meeting, according to the AP statement.

The AP also used the Newspaper Association meeting to introduce rate reductions and new content options for member newspapers, according to the statement.

Schmidt's comments about newspapers and Google working hand-in-hand were echoed Tuesday by Google's Associate General Counsel for Products and Intellectual Property, Alexander Macgillivray.

"Users like me are sent from different Google sites to newspaper Web sites at a rate of more than a billion clicks per month. These clicks go to news publishers large and small, domestic and international, day and night," wrote Macgillivray in a Tuesday post to Google's Public Policy Blog. "And once a reader is on a newspaper's site, we work hard to help them earn revenue. Our AdSense program pays out millions of dollars to newspapers that place ads on their sites, and our goal is that our Internet-based advertising technology will help newspapers make more from each click we send them by serving better, more relevant ads to their readers to generate higher returns."

Macgillivray also wrote that the AP's plan "doesn't appear to pertain to Google since we host ... articles in partnership with the AP."

"We drive traffic and provide advertising in support of all business models—whether news sources choose to host their articles with us or on their own sites, and whether their business model is ad-supported or based on subscriptions," said Macgillivray.