Rupert Murdoch has said it is time for internet search engines and other websites to start to pay for any news reports they currently take for free. Mr Murdoch, owner of media giant News Corporation, said such sites would soon have to pay for any content taken from his firm’s many new providers. He was speaking at the World Media Summit in Beijing, where his comments were backed by some of his competitors.
Associated Press boss Tom Curley said news providers were being “exploited”.
“The aggregators and plagiarists will soon have to pay a price for the co-opting of our content,” said Mr Murdoch, whose company owns newspapers including the Sun and the Times in the UK, and the New York Post and Wall Street Journal in the US. “If we do not take advantage of the current movement toward paid content, it will be the content creators - the people in this hall - who will pay the ultimate price and the content kleptomaniacs who triumph.”
The BBC’s Chris Hogg said Mr Murdoch warned global news executives who had gathered for the summit that many news providers faced going out of business unless they started to charge websites such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook for carrying their content.
Mr Murdoch’s comments came two months after he said online readers would soon have to pay to access news content across New Corporation’s websites. Mr Curley said news content creators had “been too slow to react to the free exploitation of news by third parties without input or permission”. “Crowd-sourcing web services such as Wikipedia, YouTube and Facebook, have become preferred customer destinations for breaking news, displacing websites of traditional news publishers,” he added. Mr Curley said news providers had to “decisively act to take back control of our content”.
“We will no longer tolerate the disconnect between people who devote themselves - at great human and economic cost - to gathering news of public interest and those who profit from it without supporting it.”
Mr Curley said earlier this week that Associated Press was considering selling news stories to some websites, such as Google or Yahoo, exclusively for a certain period, such as half an hour.