Chicago (IL) – In a response to a claim made by the Associated Press regarding unfair use of AP stories on newspaper websites, Google’s Alexander Macgillivray said that the AP and newspapers got it all wrong. While the Associated Press has plans to go after individuals who use and copy its content without paying for it, Google said that this complaint does not pertain to Google, even if the company links to sites with copied articles, since it drives traffic and provides advertising in support of “all business models.”
There is no doubt that the AP and Macgillivray are talking about a touchy topic, especially in times of declining traditional advertising revenue, which forces newspapers to rethink how they compete with a million and one blogs that operate at much lower cost level – and often take advantage of traditional and expensive content.
Macgillivray feels that AP’s claim does not affect Google, since Google actually drives extensive traffic to newspaper websites, “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.” He states that Google has a partnership with the Associated Press dating back to 2007 in which Google pays for content.
Fair use allows Google to display headlines and feeds of AP articles on Google pages and Macgillivray believes that newspapers should appreciate this service because Google “shows users just enough to make them want to read more.” If wire services and newspapers wish to keep their content from hitting Google’s index they are allowed to do so.
The Associated Press creates revenue money from newspapers that subscribe to the agency’s news service. In the grim economic time the AP is also struggling and expects a drop in sales, and also is forecasting a cut in payroll expenses in an attempt to save money. More than 180 newspapers have made threats to end contracts with the wire service due to the high expense and lengthy contract durations.