Amazing deal between Google and News corps

In News on December 1, 2009 by Dave Winer

Gotta say I never saw this coming.Permalink to this paragraph

BBC: “Newspaper publishers will now be able to set a limit on the number of free news articles people can read through Google, the company has announced.”Permalink to this paragraph

“Previously, each click from a user would be treated as free,” Google senior business product manager Josh Cohen said in a blog post.Permalink to this paragraph

“Now, we’ve updated the programme so that publishers can limit users to no more than five pages per day without registering or subscribing.” Permalink to this paragraph

What does this mean? Do you use Google News? If so, do you see yourself continuing to use it?Permalink to this paragraph

Why did Google agree to this? Permalink to this paragraph

Very surprising.Permalink to this paragraph

20 Responses to “Amazing deal between Google and News corps”

  1. Global Pilot? The change to paid for would not happen without Google signing up, setting up the systems and showing widespread how it can easily be done?

  2. I’ll continue to use Google News. Five is better than none.

    Why did Google agree to it?

    Because it doesn’t hurt Google, and it’s a bone thrown to publishers who may be Google advertisng customers, clients partners (adwords, adsense, display ads, doubleclick).

    I don’t think it’s surprising.

  3. Wow, this is awful.

    We are so used to a free model, mainly due to Google, I don’t see why people would shell out funds for a news aggregator. I foresee an even bigger cultural shift of instant gratification, skimming headlines, articles, and now skimming excerpts of articles… Yikes. 😦

    I truly hope Google didn’t choose Google News to go the subscription route, since lately they have been criticized for “being evil” — which any Google fan knows, is the exact opposite of their motto. Boo.

  4. I wasn’t shocked, though the swiftness of the resolution of the dispute was a tad surprising. Most newspaper Web sites I read give readers free access on their sites anyway, so I’m not sure of the overall impact of this. Most news is available from many separate sources in substantially the same form (wire services, syndicates, etc.) and the content of the news itself isn’t subject to copyright of course, so the total impact of this may be pretty small. It may end up generating a few bucks for newspapers, who still don’t get the new paradigm and whose bacon won’t be saved by this faint measure.

  5. All I see is an excellent oppurtunity for twitter. Already well on its way to redefining what is considered “news”, twitter has been given this gift. As the walls go up around mainstream media, the search for information will flow to paths of less resistance. As a news gathering (and generating) outfit no media group can match its number of correspondents and locations.

    A few intuitive apps thrown in, geo-tagging now rising in profile, who knows what could happen.. I thinks its a great oppurtunity.

  6. I found the other offer — the indexing of the preview pages instead of the content pages — to be more interesting. I wrote up a brief fair use analysis at but I think the core is that Google really didn’t have much of a choice.

  7. Who manages this? Is there some sort of audit procedure? Does this mean Google is sharing information with the publishers about you and your habits?

  8. I don’t understand. What is the relationship betwen google and paid or registered. Doesn’t that all happren on the site? Google is just linking no?

  9. One other thing — I probably should answer the core “five pages” question. My guess is that it’s just economic warfare, and Google knows that they’re better off with NewsCorp content in the index than not.

    They also know that the number of people who are going to use 6+ pages a day are low, and a high percentage of those are using Google as a paywall circumvention tool. So it helps them be the good guys, I guess.

  10. Seems that Google will do almost anything to avoid the claim that the competition is more inclusive. This feels like a slippery slope in regards to limited access, and will allow news corporation and others to ease into itl.

  11. I consume a lot of news, but it’s rare that I read 5 pages from one source in the same day. But what happens if I’m reading a story in the WSJ and I try to read the last page, and they 86 me because I’ve had enough?

  12. I don’t get how this will work, exactly. Newspapers could have implemented something like this on their own already — and a few have, usually letting you see 1 article free and then routing you to a registration/paywall.

    Seems like Google is making a placation offer that will mollify some critics in the news biz but will not really be taken up by that many.

  13. Is this really what the Murdoch controversy was about? Is this a solution to it? If so, is this one of those agreements where Murdoch gets to save face — but doesn’t really gain anything. Because it’s really merely a nuanced tweak of Google’s current policy — and one that few users of Google News will notice.

  14. bing!

  15. Erm, ok, but then were is the option to have a NewsCorp Free aggregate? I don’t want to keep track of where this particular source is Murdoch “news” or not. Heck, just getting Faux News off the google news page would improve it dramatically.

  16. Isn’t this just a semi-universal application of the Financial Times model? Read n stories without subscription; access to story n+1 requires a subscription (or circumvention)? Or am I missing something. If I’m correct, it’s just one more piece of crap on the net to route around.

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