Earlier this week, Rupert Murdoch did a 37 minute interview with Sky News about why he thinks Google and Microsoft have been “stealing” content from The Wall Street Journal through their news websites. He said he has a problems with companies that simply “pick up everything and run with it [2:13-2:15 in the embedded clip]” and “steal our stories.”
Because of this Murdoch said he wants to cut off Google News from linking to The Wall Street Journal articles. His logic is that he would rather have less visitors that actually pay than have millions of visitors that do not pay.
I read an article by TechDirt that points out all of Rupert Murdoch’s companies that simply “pick up content and run with it.” The Wall Street Journal is an excellent example. Below is a screenshot of one of the sections of The Wall Street Journal website:
It is not just The Wall Street Journal that links to tons of content that other people produce. FOX News does it with their Politics Buzztracker. AllThingsD regularly links to other stories in a section called Voices. News Corporation also owns IGN which has many websites that “steal” content from other websites such as RottenTomatoes. And I am sure that there are many other examples.
The fact of the matter is that there is original content writers out there. Sometimes people get lucky by being the first to publish breaking news and the rest of the time they are stuck with reporting content that other people produced. But as long as you keep producing the news and making sure that you have solid profit margins, then your publication business will prosper.