April 7, 2009 / 3:45 PM / 10 years ago

Google is good for newspapers: executive

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Google Inc helps newspaper websites make money through online advertising and does not misappropriate their content, a lawyer for the search engine said on the company’s blog on Tuesday.

A Google search page is seen through the spectacles of a computer user in Leicester, central England July 20, 2007. REUTERS/Darren Staples

“We drive traffic and provide advertising in support of all business models, whether news sources choose to host the articles with us or on their own websites,” wrote Alexander Macgillivray, Google’s associate general counsel for products and intellectual property.

“Users like me are sent from different Google sites to newspaper websites at a rate of more than a billion clicks per month,” he wrote.

On Monday, The Associated Press, a 163-year-old news wire paid for by member newspapers, said it was working on a plan to protect its content from misappropriation on the Internet.

On Tuesday, Google’s Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, speaking at the Newspaper Association of America’s annual meeting in San Diego, said AP has a “multimillion-dollar” deal with Google for the search engine to host and distribute its news.

Some journalists have complained that search engines run by Google and Yahoo Inc make millions of dollars off their news, and that it should belong to them instead.

Publishers from The New York Times Co to EW Scripps Co are struggling with a decline in advertising revenue that threatens the survival of some of their newspapers.

They are trying to find ways to make more money online to make up for what they are losing on their print editions.

Macgillivray wrote that Google helps them make more of that money by referring readers back to their websites.

“For news articles we’ve crawled and indexed but do not host, we show users just enough to make them want to read more — the headline, a ‘snippet’ of a line or two of text, and a link back to the news publisher’s website,” he wrote.

He said that news outlets that object to Google’s “fair use” of their material can request that it be removed from the company’s index.

Schmidt told the Newspaper Association that newspaper websites someday would use several business models, including ads that support free news delivery, subscriptions and micro-payments, which are small fees to read articles.

Schmidt said he was impressed by how newspapers took to the Internet in the 1990s, but, he said, they had not changed their business models to suit the medium.

Reporting by Robert MacMillan; editing by John Wallace, Toni Reinhold

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