As I've written, it's all but inconceivable that News Corp. (NWS) will block Google (GOOG) from indexing the stories produced by its various online news outlets, but try telling Rupert Murdoch that. In an interview on his own Fox Business Network Tuesday, the owner of The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post continued to hint that he's willing to resort to the nuclear option unless Google starts cutting publishers in on the billions it's making off their content.
"They have devised a brilliant search engine that scrapes all the material published in the world, and on the back of that they sell search, but they don't pay for the raw material," said Murdoch. "We have to do something about that."
But what, exactly? Though he was vague on the details, Murdoch seemed to sketch out a scenario in which news stories won't pop up in a Google search. Technologically, it would be a simple thing for publishers to accomplish, though it would mean sacrificing millions in ad revenue.
"We can publish our newspapers electronically, and others can too, and people can still go to a search engine if they want to find out something -- not news perhaps, but if they see terms, if they see things referred to in news stories, news magazines, they can either go to a Google or a Microsoft or whoever," Murdoch said. "They'll still have a very good business."
He seemed to consider this scenario more likely than one in which Google simply finds a way to compensate publishers for use of their content. "I don't know if they can afford to do that," he said. "If they were to pay everybody for everything they took from every newspaper in the world and every magazine, they wouldn't have any profits left."
Here's the video of the interview.
Rupert Murdoch is still hinting at a Google blockade