back to article Google Australia says government pulled pin on content-for-cash talks, hands in its homework anyway

Google’s Australian tentacle has hit back at Australia’s plan to plan to make web giants pay publishers for content shared on their networks. In a Sunday roast penned by Google Australia managing director and veep Mel Silva, the company said it was on track to deliver everything asked of it in the consultation process “before …

  1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    'we do for free what meatspace distributors charge for'

    'we get our revenue by stealing other peoples work'

    TFTFY -------------------->

    The right incon at last :-)

    1. Psmo Silver badge

      'We use our steaming piles of cash to muscle a presence into as many web properties as we can get away with, undercutting any existing operators cause we're loaded.'

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I was Google, I'd just give publishers the option to choose exactly what they want to be displayed on Google News, on condition that Google does not have to pay for it. Separately, different options for what they want to be displayed on Google Search, again on condition that Google does not have to pay for it. How could anyone complain about copyrights then?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      They do that anyway. It's called robots.txt.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Hang on there a minute

    "publishers have always paid distributors of their content yet Google performs the same service for free"

    Of course you do. You do it for free because you slap your ads on content you scrape from them, and you make billions from it.

    If, on top of that, you were demanding payment from the publishers, that would just be taking the piss.

    You started your business on scraping without asking permission. When there was an uproar, you made specious arguments about how you were doing nothing wrong. When that didn't work, you cut the newsfeeds and the publications activity dropped like a stone, which prompted them to come back begging for you to continue scraping.

    It's not because you have managed to place yourself in a position of power that you can justify it by how it works now. That's like the blackmailer saying "hey, they're not complaining, what's your problem ?".

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Hang on there a minute

      Also, their argument is just not true. There have been and still are plenty of publishers who write content and then sell it to other places so those other places can have the right to distribute that content. In fact, it applies to pretty much every kind of content. Wire news services, syndicated television programs, music played on radio stations, movies shown by theaters, plays put on by acting groups, the list goes on and on. Now I understand Google's argument that this is a little different, as they're not placing the ads themselves and thus aren't making any money off the content they distribute for free, which was already basically released for free by the owner, except that most of those parts aren't true either. The search page has ads that never benefit the people listed there. The news pages may have ads that benefit the publishers, except that most ad scripts are forbidden based on Google's technical restrictions so it's mostly Google ads and that they still make plenty of money on those. Also, placement in search results results in visitors to a publisher's page to read the content and possibly continue to read more content by that publisher, which the Google News page doesn't tend to do. I tend not to fully support the news organizations when this argument starts up again, but I don't support Google because they offer these transparently false arguments.

  4. Magani

    The ATO called...

    Hey, Google, how about paying your share of income tax in Australia?

  5. ratfox

    I recall that in Germany at least, publishers were able by law to choose whether to allow Google to display snippets; the intent was that Google would have to negotiate with them a fair price. Google offered them zero, and they all accepted sooner or later.

    Of course, even though big publishers initially refused, you'd have cheap fly-by-night new sites that would accept it immediately, which meant their results were more attractive to users and received more traffic, which meant that the big publishers lost any leverage to force Google to accept their terms. Typically, bigger outfit would be able to out-advertise small operations, but since Google News is free for everybody, they can't. This makes Rupert Murdoch very unhappy.[citation needed]

    The big problem of Google News is that it makes not much difference if you're a great outfit with carefully researched stories, or a one-man outfit copy/pasting stories with automated scripts; for a lot of news it makes no difference.

    This makes it possible for Google to just say: "We'll let you decide exactly what you want to us to display on Google News, and we'll pay you nothing at all". And publishers all fall over themselves to allow Google to show everything it wants.

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