Murdoch-Microsoft deal in the works

balldock_and_mumer.jpg Photo copyright of Paul Teixeira Microsoft is ready to pay Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to remove its news content from Google, according to the Financial Times. Microsoft has also approached other "big online publishers" with similar deals.
"One website publisher approached by Microsoft said that the plan 'puts enormous value on content if search engines are prepared to pay us to index with them",' wrote the FT's Matthew Garrahan. "... Microsoft's interest is being interpreted as a direct assault on Google because it puts pressure on the search engine to start paying for content." This he calls a "ray of light to the newspaper industry." Now, every site in Google is currently there by choice. As it could conceivably change its mind and shank Balldock and Murmer with fair use, let's assume that they're planning on exclusivity. End-user license agreements, paywalls, spider-blocking, that sort of thing. Maybe even encryption and plugins and other delights. Sayonara, RSS! In any case, participating publishers have to become invisible to search engines who don't pay up. Think of all the gambles encoded in that decision: that the U.S. ad market won't rebound enough to go it alone. That subsidized foreign competitors like the BBC aren't a domestic threat. That people will change their surfing habits to find them. And so on. But there's one gamble which does make some twisted sense: that Microsoft is an irrational consumer. It's easy to believe that it may spew senseless riches into publishers' pockets, radically distorting the news market, just to spite Google. In this case, Murdoch could be wringing cash out of a market he knows is doomed to implosion or assimilation. And he doesn't even have to be an evil genius, either: he just has to be smarter than Steve Ballmer.

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  1. It won’t work. There will always be a free alternative. If anything, this will only make newsblogs like HuffPo more popular than ever.

  2. Wow someone’s getting paid a lot to edit the “robots.txt” files. You’re about five years too late, Rupe.

  3. How does one go about taking the “gold’ out of a setting sun’s rays?

    OK bad metaphor aside, just how does a something as huge as a bunch of online news sources just disappear? And, what does it ultimately mean for society….let alone add revenues?

    Weird.

  4. Totally agree, they deserve each other. Evil twins. This is just wrong on so many levels. I can remember when the ruffians from Redmond would walk into software stores and threaten to pull all of their titles if competitive products were given premium space or attention. I’ve been struggling with a decision: iMac or Win 7 touchscreen all-in-one. I was leaning toward the PC box, but now I’m leaning strongly the other way.

  5. One dinosaur dragging another dinosaur down into teh tarry goo. So apropos. Just never thought it would happen with such a disgusting reach-around and mutual blow job – metaphorically speaking of course. Still – all too happy to stand on the shore and wave “bye-bye” to the beasts.

    1. Actually, Murdoch’s strategy is starting to make sense, unfortunately. Microsoft’s Bing has not even been on the market for a year, and it already has 10% of the search engine market

      First: “10%”? Citation needed.

      Second: let’s assume that you’re right; that 10% of all web searches are done through Bing. This is NOT because users are voluntarily visiting Bing instead of Google; it’s because MS has made it the default search engine for the sites, services, and software that it controls. Like this:

      http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=3&ved=0CBQQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsearchengineland.com%2Finternet-explorer-6-forces-bing-as-default-search-provider-20398&ei=tBwKS6O7AcKtlAfuz5iFBA&usg=AFQjCNHRipC_qfUXZ24jVss9iuWl9oR2CQ&sig2=61B3GxN84lv0ek8yyObK0w

      But remember: Google has mindshare. What do you think will happen when people Google for information and it happens that none of the hits are from Faux News. Do you think those users will slap their foreheads and say, “oh, that’s right: I need to use Bing”, and try again? No! They’ll follow the links that they DO find the first time out. I can only hope that the rest of the wingnut web follows suit and excludes itself from Google.

      This next few months should be damned entertaining.

  6. It’s going to be like Conservapedia vs Wikipedia for search engines, only with Conservapedia having serious money behind it.

    1. but Wikipedia has a whole bunch of passionate people willing to working for free, that no amount of money can ever buy!!

    2. Thanks for pointing out conservapedia, jfrancis – I’d never seen it before. That was good for a laugh.

    3. Conservapedia “ain’t ingorance grand” is a cockeyed view on the world, an alternative universe of weirdness that displays as much cant as a couple of the english version pro-Islam anti-US websites I’ve viewed.

  7. Recognition of robots.txt is purely voluntary, just like x-no-archive was. If the MSFT/Murdoch plan is to succeed, it’s going to have to rely on something a lot more substantial than an advisory protocol, i.e. a statute or case law which says anyone who wants to prevent someone from linking to their online content can just say so, and that’s that. Such laws/legislation don’t exist, at least not in the U.S. So MSFT/Murdoch are going to try and craft them, along with a ton of other big content providers.

    Hold on to yr hats, this is going to be a hugely important fight.

  8. I think this is setting a bad precedent for Bing. If I were a major online content provider (eg. CNN, MSNBC, Wikipedia), I would remove my content from Bing until they paid me, too. Microsoft obviously has deep pockets and Bing just doesn’t send that much traffic to me; the negative consequence of losing Bing users is far outweighed by the potential revenue. Bing might want me to sign an exclusive deal, but I would be willing to accept less money in return for a non-exclusive deal.

  9. A ray of darkness carrying with it mandatory plugins, proprietary codecs, and ActiveX controls that all fight with each other and render your computer use worthless, or worse, trick you into adware/malware installs. We’ve all been there before when it was free and it stank to high heaven.

    Ballmina obviously can’t make the Bing Pig fly as well as he’d wished, so he’s willing to let Murdocula suck on Microsoft’s neck in a Corporate Wealth Redistribution Plan to buy his empire time at Microsoft’s expense.

  10. Looks like we’re heading towards Microsoft’s Internet vs everyone else’s Internet. I already know which one I’ll look at.

  11. Hmmm.
    Can’t help but think that Ballmer’s head is shown to proportion, and that Moloch… I mean Murdoch is looking more like Palpatine every day.
    Also, as for Bing’s 10%; the default search engine for every Internet Explorer version from 6 up is now Bing. If you ask me, I’d say it is purely coincidence.

  12. dbx has it right. I’m surprised the article didn’t mention this other side to the sword.

    And while Murdoch has plenty of non-Conservative Media, I wonder if Microsoft understands the implications of the Partisan baggage that will go along with their news. I await the first “Hi, I’m a Mac, and I’m Glenn Beck! Obama’s a terrorist!” ad.

  13. This is fantastic! Two giants killing each other. Now if only we could get Microsoft to pay Experts Exchange to do the same.

  14. This is all a bit backwards. MS and Murdoch seem to be assuming people want results from Murdoch properties to appear when they search for something, and will place enough of a premium on it to explicitly start using a search engine that will produce those results.

    The reality is, when someone searches for something on google or any other search engine, they *don’t care* where the results are located, just that the results are relevant. Search for on google and you just want a result that will tell you what you need/want to know about . No-one except Murdoch gives a damn whether a Murdoch property is anywhere in the listed results, and Google will continue to spit up results from the BBC, CBC, Al Jazeera, Guardian, and thirty or forty other generally decent news sources even if Murdoch takes his collection of second rate sources off behind some paywall, and nothing of value will be lost. Except possibly to Bing if it starts switching decent news sources for second rate Murdoch sources in response to search queries.

    1. caitifty Interesting point…

      “This is all a bit backwards.

      “..they *don’t care* where the results are located, just that the results are relevant.”

      When you put it that way it’s like the asocial person acted inapropiatly and got themselves locked away.

      ‘See ya later!’ :)

      What’s is bothering me is that this story is that it spotlights something that’s been coming for a while now; the ‘two worlds’ the encampment of America. We see it every election cycle – your either wildly for the republican choice or wildly against them.

      Of coarse this so called blue-states/red-states thing is in part bad writing by mass media; but I think it is also a function of the loss of identity by large swaths of the society in a revolutionary time.

      This forms a template of an evolving theory of how facsism got going and sustained a myopic ideology in the 1930’s &1940’s [and still thrives in some circles].

      The encampment of two solitudes continues with this ‘Micro-News’ aparthied.

      Michael Holloway
      FilterBlogs

      1. Boy that is embarrassing; spelling misstakes, editing mistakes, grammar is mistakes.

        I should proof read my writing before I submit…

        Michael Holloway

  15. The removal of Murdoch-branded news pages from Google constitutes a huge WIN for Google: it can only make Google searches more relevant and the hits more accurate. As for BUNG: who TF cares (excepting poor bastards who are stuck holding MS stock)?

  16. #9: Microsoft Live Search already had 10% market share in 2008 prior to it being renamed ‘Bing’. Referring to their search engine as some new thing they released a only year ago stretches your credibility beyond breaking point. Nobody can say what the future holds, but Bing isn’t showing any signs of revolutionizing anything any time soon.

    #11: What good would it do Google to ignore the robots.txt? That makes no sense – it is Google who have consistantly told Rupert that all he needs to do is tell their spider to stay away with a robots.txt file. It’s not like Google could covertly include those ‘illegal’ search results without anyone noticing.

  17. So let me get this straight. Unless I use Bing, I’ll never be able to find anything from foxnews.com or other Murdoch properties on the web? Sounds like a win-win situation for me!

    1. Amusing :) Just for good measure I’ve decided to disallow msnbot on my site until they pay me for my content!

  18. > “10%”? Citation needed.

    Citation below, found by Googling (heh) “Bing search engine share”. If you add Yahoo’s partnership with Microsoft (and you probably should), Murdoch is buying into a search engine consortium which already has 30% market share. Imagine if Bing suddenly rolled out immediate search results for videos from the *The Simpsons* and all the other popular products from Newscorp… yeah, I can see that quickly growing to 50%.

    —————————————————

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iFIa_CCCc6QwmkYkicyfMLE_oGiQ

    Bing gains search market share, nears 10 percent
    (AFP) – 5 days ago

    WASHINGTON — Microsoft’s new Internet search engine Bing increased its share of the US search market in October, edging up half-a-point to nearly 10 percent, online tracking firm comScore said Tuesday.
    It was the fifth month in a row of modest gains in search share for Bing, which Microsoft unveiled in June accompanied by a 100-million-dollar advertising campaign in a bid to challenge search juggernaut Google.
    Bing’s share of the lucrative search and advertising market increased by 0.5 percent in October to 9.9 percent, comScore said.
    Google also added half-a-point in October to reach 65.4 percent.

    Yahoo!, MICROSOFT’S SEARCH PARTNER [emph mine], saw its market share decline 0.8 percent in October to 18.0 percent.

  19. In the future, you’ll be able to spot Explorer users as their browsers will be screaming at them telling them who to hate.

  20. “Unless I use Bing, I’ll never be able to find anything from foxnews.com or other Murdoch properties on the web?”

    Nothing from FOX News… and also, nothing from *The Simpsons, *X-Men*, *Avatar*, the National Geographic Channel, Neal Stephenson (he’s with HarperCollins), etc. etc. Still liking the idea?

  21. Another reason to switch to Mac. Seriously — if Microsoft computers come with IE, which will use Bing to find all the right-wing news from Murdoch, then that’s reason enough for some people to say the hell with Microsoft.

  22. “and also, nothing from *The Simpsons, *X-Men*, *Avatar*,”

    Actually, the nature of film is to be written about widely. How often does ANYONE consult the official sites of a film? Granted, I do to grab wallpapers, but, for reading about a film, never.

  23. This is just incredibly convenient. I can finally turn off my greasemonkey script that strips Fox from my Google News feed. Thank you Mr. Ballmer.

  24. I don’t particularly like Balmer, and I can’t stand Murdoch. However, I think this is an awesome idea and I wish them both the best of luck.

    A few years ago I had the privilege of working for the Associated Press. Every morning, to get to my desk, I would walk past the large wall devoted to all the AP staffers who had died covering the news. The reporters I met were dedicated to covering the news under difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions, and did it all on a surprisingly shoestring budget. I don’t think anyone can argue that print news organizations don’t provide incredibly valuable content.

    The problem is that, although more and more people are reading more and more news, newspaper sales continue to drop. Print circulation funds reporters, so as more people read the news online, less money is available to fund actual news reporting.

    A lot of companies, like Google, can make money aggregating news content. But no one has really figured out how to get a decent chunk of that money back to the actual content providers. Streaming news to a website is really easy, and blogs (like this one) squawk indignantly whenever the content providers even try to enforce their legitimate IP rights.

    Luckily, we have Bing. Bing desperately wants to compete with Google, and is trying everything they can think of to capture market share. They’ve been doing some innovative things, which may prod Google to up their search innovation. Yay competition – Everybody wins.

    Now, suppose this deal goes through and all NewsCorp content appears only on Bing. Microsoft is happy because they gain market share. NewsCorp is happy because they have money. Sure, NewsCorp looses web traffic from Google. But, frankly, that traffic is actually pretty worthless. Balmer and Murdoch are happy.

    If this works out, more news organizations may sign similar deals. Given all the projected doom in the news industry, I’m pretty sure that a lot of news execs are paying rapt attention. Microsoft has deep pockets, and content providers are desperate for cash. Another win/win situation.

    At some point Google may have to compete, and finally start paying a decent amount of money for news content. At that point everyone wins. News will be available on Google and Bing and the consumer still gets online news for free.

    Most importantly, we will finally have decent new revenue for news organizations. This means we can continue to have fund reporters to do the difficult and dangerous work necessary for a functioning civil society.

    Then we all win.

    1. blogs (like this one) squawk indignantly whenever the content providers even try to enforce their legitimate IP rights.

      DISCLAIMER: I mean this in no way to disrespect the brave journalists who have risked their lives to bring us important news. Actually, I have tremendous respect for them and Boing Boing has shown this as well time and time again (just so you know). I’m just not sure why you had to bring your “dead homies” into this, really… but, I digress…

      ——-

      First of all, blogs (like Boing Boing) show indignation whenever the content providers try to enforce illegitimate IP rights. The history of Boing Boing clearly shows this.

      Second of all, instead of blaming everyone else including Google for the misfortunes of the news”paper” industry… have you considered that the industry should look into the mirror itself?

      You don’t think consolidation is to blame for the sorry state of the news”paper” industry? Consolidation has lowered the pay for the staff and the general quality of the product. Didn’t you think lowered quality would finally come back to bite you guys in the ass?

      The chickens have come home to roost and you want to blame Google??? Seriously?

      Mirror… look at it.

      1. I’ll concede that mentioning dead journalists is perhaps over the top. I just wanted to hammer home the hopefully obvious point that reporters are the good guys. In most of these IP discussions the rights holder are unsympathetic scumbag middlemen like the RIAA. I think that news is different, and the wall was a big factor in my coming to that conclusion.

        I like Boing Boing, which is why I read it. I agree with a lot of the opinions here, but I think that some of it is a little simplistic. In particular, I found the coverage of the AP/ Fairey case one sided, overly ideological, and a little offensive.

        I’ll happily concede that the news business has made more than its fair share of mistakes. They ignored the internet for an entire decade. They still focus more on news gathering than distribution. They still don’t have a plan.

        At the same time, this isn’t entirely their fault. The crunch has hit everyone, smart or dumb. Many of the old big players like Knight Ridder and UPI are gone. The Wall Street Journal had to be rescued. There are dead or dying newspapers from coast to coast. Consolidation wasn’t the cause of the problem. It was just part of the death rattle of a dying industry. Very few players chose to drop quality – companies were just forced to cut costs to stay alive.

        I don’t think anyone is “blaming everyone”, or even blaming Google. The problem is structural, and no one knows how to fix it. Maybe this will end up being part of the solution. No one is being screwed over here.

        1. Consolidation wasn’t the cause of the problem. It was just part of the death rattle of a dying industry.

          I respectfully disagree, please see my post above to Kyle.

    2. Thank you, nomnomdom, for your insightful post.

      I have said many times that just because one low-level sci-fi author can put food on the table while giving his books away for free doesn’t mean that can happen with everything. For all the noise about “citizen journalists,” I’ll take mine trained and accountable, please. And for that they need a salary.

      I dislike both of the companies in this post, but at some point, I think we have to start paying for quality content. Consolidation has nothing to do with that (nor, to be fair, do dead homies).

      1. Thanks! I agree entirely, except for the bit about the “low-level sci-fi author”. I think you meant to say “award winning sci-fi author who is not yet universally known” ;)

        (Just saying nice things about the host after criticizing his blog;) )

      2. Consolidation has nothing to do with that

        Are you practicing long term or short term thinking? I’m talking about long term results.. the consolidation began a long time ago and became increasingly super-duper-mega-merger-tastic and now the chickens ARE coming home to roost. I’m not saying consolidation is the ONLY problem… but for you to say consolidation has NOTHING to do with your problems is absolutely absurd. I’ll explain…

        The consolidation might pay short-term dividends, but it means less original, local, in-depth news and information is being produced in the long run and DEBT… lots of DEBT… builds.

        Just a few years ago, the average profit margin for newspapers was 20% with some raking in twice as much or more. Did they use these astronomical profits to invest in the quality of their products or to innovate for the future to compete with entities like Craigslist?

        NOPE. They just bought up more newspapers and TV stations. They consolidated

        While our regulators in Washington rubber-stamped these mega-mergers, the media companies took on massive amounts of debt. And they are now drowning in it.

        But here’s the dirty secret of the business: Newspapers are still profitable. AdAge recently reported that McClatchy’s papers earned a 21% profit margin; Gannet earned 18%, and yet they both still cut thousands and thousands of jobs.

        This debt-loaded structure began to implode as their monopolies over local advertising revenue were undercut by Internet upstarts such as Craigslist.

        Now… please…

        Explain to me again how all this consolidation was good for business in the long run (where we are now)?

        Or… now… are you going to tell us all how much you blame Google and Craigslist for the newspaper industry woes. They brought it on themselves. Take some responsibility… please.

    3. A few years ago I had the privilege of working for the Associated Press. Every morning, to get to my desk, I would walk past the large wall devoted to all the AP staffers who had died covering the news. The reporters I met were dedicated to covering the news under difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions, and did it all on a surprisingly shoestring budget.

      Any argument that begins by making observations about the qualities of dedication and bravery and high professional standards displayed by the noble journalists employed at AP, and then goes on to attempt to draw conclusions that relate to the lying sleazy utterly dishonest fantasists and delusional confabulators who work for Murdoch’s tabloids and sit safely at home in the office fabricating stories from bare-faced lies and fiction, is utterly fallacious.

      1. Any argument that begins by making observations about the qualities of dedication and bravery and high professional standards displayed by the noble journalists employed at AP, and then goes on to attempt to draw conclusions that relate to the lying sleazy utterly dishonest fantasists and delusional confabulators who work for Murdoch’s tabloids and sit safely at home in the office fabricating stories from bare-faced lies and fiction, is utterly fallacious.

        Um, wow… That’s a little harsh. I don’t like News Corp’s opinion pieces either, but their journalists do very good work. Daniel Pearl worked for the Wall Street Journal.

    4. good post. I was wondering, with their money and resources, if google got seriously into the news business, that’d be interesting.

    5. It won’t happen – the revenue will go to the corporate parents, not the news organizations.

      And it won’t work, because Fox will never have a monopoly on “news” – so there will always be a way around this.

  25. that picture…it brings to mind the corrupting of anakin. seriously, murdoch’s resemblance to the emperor is spooky.
    What’s even more spooky is that anyone would even consider such a deal. at best, it’s an anachronistic strategy. this is simply not a sustainable route for the industry.

  26. So if everyone starts signing exclusivity deals like this we’re going to need a search engine to find a search engine! Ho ho! Is there a site or browser app. that searches multiple engines all at once?

    1. Sort of: Dogpile. www dot dogpile dot com

      I’d also like to mention, I agree with nomnomdom re- the need to create more revenue for content providers — sooner or later, one way or another, that’s got to happen.

  27. So, by avoiding Bing, I can avoid FOX “News” and the New York Post?

    Schweeet. I hate that shiat cluttering my search results.

  28. This is great because if Murdoch applies the same magic that he applied with MySpace we will all benefit…

  29. nomnomdom has a very good analysis. I think the big strategy Murdoch and Ballmer have in mind is to iTune-ize the entire Internet, with Bing as the paywall. It worked for Apple, why wouldn’t it work for them? And if one or two of the other big media conglomerates sign on with this partnership, Google is fricking toast. To stay relevant, Google will have to start paying Microsoft/Murdoch/etc./etc. for the privilege of indexing *their* content.

    1. nomnomdom has a very good analysis. I think the big strategy Murdoch and Ballmer have in mind is to iTune-ize the entire Internet, with Bing as the paywall. It worked for Apple, why wouldn’t it work for them? And if one or two of the other big media conglomerates sign on with this partnership, Google is fricking toast. To stay relevant, Google will have to start paying Microsoft/Murdoch/etc./etc. for the privilege of indexing *their* content. /sarcasm

      ——–

      There, I fixed it for you.

    2. I don’t thing anyone is talking about putting in a paywall for news. Newspapers have tried that before, and it doesn’t work. I’m pretty sure iTunes for news is an unworkable business model.

      Perhaps internet radio would be a slightly better analogy for a workable possible business model. Pandora streams content freely to customers, and makes money through ads. Part of the revenue goes back to the content provider.

  30. So if Bing is the default search engine on 90% of web browsers but they can only get to 10% market share…

    Doesn’t that imply that the majority of people are actively avoiding Bing?

  31. caitifty, #22
    I think you’re absolutely right. The gambit is dependent on the assumption that people use search engines to index information they already know of (Where was that one fox news article I read about? I’ll just search for it again!). While this does happen sometimes, by far people search for things because they don’t know what they want. Which means the whole ploy is backwards, and will collapse spectacularly.

    But there is another implication here too. If Murdoch makes money (which he likely will at least short-term) and news orgs follow suit, then the search engine company owns the news outlets: has them by the financial balls. While this is nothing new for Murdoch, real journalism is about truth, not money, and such a world means ‘vetted journalists’ is just a synonym for ‘sellouts’. A cynic would say that’s where we are today, but I’m just a ray of sunshine.

  32. An agreement like this, whatever one’s opinion of any of the players, smells of monopoly practices. I simply will await a lovely class action suit from somewhere to assert this, if the US Justice Department or the EU “competition” folks don’t get into the act. The notion that “news” can be controlled is as old as the hills, and both robber barons and government oligarchs hunger for such control — which is the exact antithesis of the Internet at the moment. Except in Cuba….

  33. What an amazing ad campaign–Pay someone millions to get your content out of view!

    Is it Media Madness Monday? Between this and the AOL (ahem “Aol.”) rebranding it’s like watching retards drown from look up in a rainstorm.

  34. Jesus Christ! Could you put up a warning if you’re going to include images like that! I was trying to eat!

    If Norman Bates had a cupboard for the rest of his family, that is what would fall out when you opened the door.

  35. Murdock tried to bully google into giving him money and google didn’t give in. So now Murdock is paying microsoft to be mean to google. Yay to google for not giving in to bullying… and boo to microsoft for helping out a bully.

  36. Quick, what’s the downside? Murdoch is rushing down the same route that newspapers stumbled down. It is the “unbuzz” approach to businesss. There is far too much free available for this move to achieve his desired goals. I hope he has more ideas like this for himself and his endeavors. Never get between a suicider and his cliff.

  37. nomnomdom, one of the things that has inspired my love for photography is news photos. Not the action/conflict photos of a generation past but modern news photos. Photos with one politician in focus, the other not. Photos that the drudgereport or the huffpost use to supplement the headline and that completely affect the read of the story. Photos that one way or another totally inspired Fairey.

    I know AP photographers have produced so many of those photos and I know they haven’t been paid jack. I know the photographer takes the photo and the AP take all the residuals. It’s one of the things that made me decide not to monitise my photo hobby (easy decision when there is almost no money in a profession).

    I submit that the internet is not the only one robbing you blind and taking your work for free.

    1. Thanks… One of the things I miss about the AP was having unlimited access to the photo archives. So much wonderful stuff. Sigh….

      From what I’ve heard the photographers weren’t paid nearly enough for their awesome work. The informal company motto is still “you can’t spell cheap without the AP”.
      Then again, given that they are a not-for-profit collective, I don’t think anyone is raking in the cash. News is expensive.

  38. hm. i wonder how rupert will feel once somebody manages to explain to him why he suddenly lost 90% of his traffic. i’d hate to be the guy that finally gets through to him.

  39. What most people are missing is that the channels which feed into the internet and provide a LOT of news information are key to the provision of information. Regardless of the type and quality, it is still ‘news’, ‘information’, or ‘facts’.

    Instead of the scathing comments that are being bandied about people should be looking long and hard at this. This is economic censorship where someone is taking their ‘toy’ and not allowing others to play with it. When news is sold rather than told there are issues regarding who, what, how, and when it is available to you and me.

  40. I think about half of Bing’s search volume comes from the msn.com site where news “stories” actually take you to a Bing search page. I click on those all the time since the “headlines” sound interesting, only to be taken to a page of pathetic result hits.

  41. Frankly couldn’t care less if it’s only Murdoch. If I could afford it, *I’d* pay him to take his content out of Google.

    The question is if anyone else is going to jump for this. There are news sources I’d be sad to see go.

    If Microsoft start using the profits garnered from my purchase of their products to remove the most useful part of the interwebs from the places I like to use to discover it, that’s a reason to stop buying Microsoft.

  42. When “news is sold not told” ?? Well some of it may APPEAR free (e.g. if your local newspaper is freely distributed with no cover price – but the ads still fund it and those ads cost money that goes into the product price) but I’ve been paying for my newspapers all my life. Sounds like ‘sold’ to me.

  43. Aren’t microsoft still paying the RIAA some money for every zune sold? this looks like a similar deal

  44. I think Murdoch has made his intentions known about how he feels regarding news. He doesn’t care if they get less people visiting their sites, as long as those who do, are paying customers.

    The people we should feel sorry for are those who will actually pay to access his sites.

  45. this attack on internet openness won’t add popularity points to the Microsoft brand which is struggling specially among college folks also it won’t make much difference, Google will still get news.

    P.S
    I like the picture

  46. Well, Murdoch’s other internet adventures have worked out so well for him, let’s hope this one works out in a similar fashion!

  47. As Faux News leaves Google, the world as one sighs. Historians now agree the moment Murdoch left Google as the turning point of the human race. Quoted in the NYTimes Herbert Inksblotter Professor Emitris Harvard humanities “It was if a giant malevolent weight was lifted of our collective backs. ‘”Murdoch’s migration” as we now call it now ushered in a new golden age for man, the true age of Aquarius. The world now has color, warmth, love where once was dross and chaff. If I had the security clearance to approach Mr.Murdoch’s zombie Cyborg I would thank him from the bottom of my heart, and so would all of humanity.”‘

  48. I skimmed almost all the comments – is no one going to comment on the awesomeness of the post’s photo? I would have loved to see a Bush/Cheney version.

  49. So Google will index the BLOGS that link to Murdochs sites. So what? This slows down no one an will only directly hurt Murdoch.

    I think most other companies will wait to see how this effects Murdoch first before jumping on board.

  50. What? I won’t be able to find Fox News stories on Google? I won’t be to search myspace on Google? Yet another reason to use Google over Microsoft! What a hilariously stupid business move both for Murdoch and Microsoft. Google wins by doing nothing at all.

  51. Eric Ragle: that’s why the news industry wants copyright law changed so that bloggers can’t write about stories they hear in the news unless they pay the news organisations money. (I’m not joking.)

    caitifty: not the BBC, or at least not for much longer. Murdoch wants the BBC to die, and it looks like when the Conservative party take power they’ll be more than happy to oblige him. (It would seem that here in the UK, you can vote for whichever party you like, but Rupert Murdoch will still be in power either way.)

    Xeno: blogs linking to Murdoch’s news sites? How dare they!

  52. This heralds a balkanization of the collective human consciousness that could result in complete, collective schzophrenia.

  53. Of course, as long as Net Neutrality is still around, you can just go to the sites directly, and not use Bing at all!
    Naturally, this is intended to start a precedent so that Neutrality is NOT still around, but still. As long as it is, this is pretty silly. Some dude will post a page of ‘Fox News Links,’ Google will point to that, and anyone else that uses the content regularly will just go to the site that’s in their bookmarks.

    The solution at that point is to ban bookmarks and make WSJ.com’s address something like ‘www.ajdfkal;ghibnsio;bn;eibenberber;bher.com’ that no one would remember. Hmmm, we’d have to ban copy/pasting as well…

  54. First, anyone who thinks this will lead to professional reporters getting paid is delusional. Second, anyone that thinks professional reporting as it now exists — what with the Ft. Hood press insanity fresh in all of our minds — is worth saving, is overly sympathetic. Third, anyone who believes that Murdoch has some monopoly on good news coverage is completely ignorant.

    Reporting — like publishing and music and movies — is going to change. Like they have before. If we’re smart, we’ll find a way to preserve the good changes we’ve made.

  55. Man what the heck?

    It’s hard to get the scoop through all the shills and anti-shills batting each-other over the heads here.

    83 posts and advertising is only mentioned once. And not even as a solution to money problems. Advertising should be paying for your website, shills. If it’s not, you’re doing it wrong.

    Anti-shills, man one more comment about how nice it would be not to have Fox content in Google and I think I’ll explode.

    Google may list their news in the listing, but far as I know, I still have to click through to their site to get the full article.

    So the news companies have to do what TV has done since the beginning. Give out content and pay with advertisements. BFD.

    The one guy in this whole post who got it right is #22. Right on catify. Newscorp is shooting themselves in the foot.

    So much noise over nothing…

  56. The precedent that search engines should pay for content they’re indexing changes the entire nature of the internet as it stands.

    This I think is the real issue at stake here.

    On another note if I was someone advertising on one of Murdoch’s sites I don’t think I’d be willing to pay half as much for an ad that is visible to everyone in the world compared to everyone that is willing to pay to see one of his stories.

    He obviously believes he can make up for lost advertising revenue by paid content readers but I just can’t see that happening.

  57. Huh.

    Interesting that the people who mock Murdoch over this move are doing so with an increasingly shrill tone.

    Fearful, almost.

    1. Fearful, almost.

      You don’t think that it’s frightening that a right-wing business man is attempting to turn all media in the English-speaking world into a propaganda organ for his hate-filled agenda?

      1. Oh, stop it. This isn’t about Murdoch’s political leanings. This is about technology.

        Your rhetoric is nearing dog-whistle pitch — “all media in the English-speaking world,” “propaganda organ” — but I’ll do my best to meet you halfway: What’s really frightening, here, is the future of a democracy in which the press dies thanks to Google’s electronic free-loading.

        Ever spent much time in a country without a strong press? If so, I’m sure you know where the real threat lies.

          1. It’s a conversation about technology.

            The only technology that you’ve referenced so far is a dog whistle.

          2. @Antinous: Let me know when you want to talk about the actual matter at hand.

            @Caroline: No one, least of all me, wants a long explanation from me about how Google benefits fantastically from the work of the journalists who create content and their employers. Those discussions are easy to find, and if you poke around a bit I think you’ll find persuasive arguments that the situation is not at all “like saying ‘I want the TV station to pay me to advertise, and I’m going to pull all my commercials until they do.'”

          3. Let me know when you want to talk about the actual matter at hand.

            Feel free to do the same. So far all you’ve done is toss around accusations of shrillness. And tell people to do their own research to support your claims.

        1. What’s really frightening, here, is the future of a democracy in which the press dies thanks to Google’s electronic free-loading.

          Google is socialist, nazi, antichrist!!!!!11111!!

          … what about Poland?

  58. Hurray! No more Newscorp b*llshit on Google is a Thanksgiving gift, is it not? And I’ve been using Puppy Linux (fast, trouble-free and chock full of goodies, a speed-demon on a 600mhz processor with 256megs of ram, virus free) for the last two years everyday. It does everything Microsucks does and at no cost.

    If this really happens, I’ll look forward to 2010 after all…

    1. Hurray! No more Newscorp b*llshit on Google is a Thanksgiving gift, is it not? And I’ve been using Puppy Linux (fast, trouble-free and chock full of goodies, a speed-demon on a 600mhz processor with 256megs of ram, virus free) for the last two years everyday. It does everything Microsucks does and at no cost.

      Is there a version of Godwin’s Law for Microsoft? Any thread about Microsoft, no matter how tangential, will eventually include someone mentioning that their Linux build is better than Windows. ;)

  59. Google should simply proactively remove all News Corp content from their indexes, negating the need for Microsoft to pay News Corp at all. They could even approach Microsoft with a rock-bottom offer to waive all rights to index News Corp sites for a ridiculously low price.

    News Corp would then unwillingly demonstrate the folly of this course of action, while not receiving any of the financial benefits. Microsoft would benefit for a short while, but that too would quickly dwindle as people forget about News Corp sites.

  60. Google’s “electronic freeloading”?

    Are you serious? It’s up on the internet already; Google just lets you find it.

    And really, let’s think for a moment here. Murdoch is acting as if being able to search for Fox News on Google is primarily a benefit to Google. Seriously? All that will happen if Fox News takes itself off Google is that when people are searching for news about some political event, they won’t find Fox News. So Fox News loses out on all those pageviews.

    It’s basically like saying “I want the TV station to pay me to advertise, and I’m going to pull all my commercials until they do.” Good luck with that, dude.

  61. This could be a big lose-lose situation for Microsoft and News Corp. Microsoft will probably waste huge amounts of money and no one will care or notice that News Corp is absent from google. News Corp will also be hurt, because if they are not on in google’s search, they don’t exist.

  62. I have a practical question. If I have a website and I want one search engine to spider and index my site, but not another, is there a way to do this.

    If Bing is now willing to pay to include content from a given site, how does one set it up to make this happen?

    It seems to me there is a good way to earn Microsoft $$ if everyone with a website could selectively block spider access to those engines that they feel are treating them right.

    It would further seem to me that this is not a precedence that Microsoft or anyone would like to see set. If one site can pick and choose who can index their content based on how much they are paid, all websites will start to want the same deal. It would completely change the economy of running search engines.

    A simple boycott of the Bing spider could go a long way to driving this point home. Is there a way to implement this boycott?

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