According to TechCrunch, Scotland’s Sunday Herald is running a story reporting that Google has secretly reached deals with several large UK news groups to formally license content for Google News. But will Google invest in licensing content without expecting a return on that investment?
Google has argued that the use of news snippets on Google News constituted fair use because they didn’t run any advertising on the site. This isn’t the first time Google has paid for news content. The last time, Google claimed it was for “…new uses of Associated Press content.” The AP claimed there was already a dispute in play. That was back in August of 2006. Have you seen those new uses? I haven’t.
Google’s YouTube has also had its share of lawsuits from other copyright holders, but there have been plans to monetize YouTube and, of course, place YouTube content inside search results to distinguish their search engine results from competitors’.
What will this mean for publishers? Does it need to come to this point? Will Google be altruistic in its pursuit of content, or is the Fair Use model of displaying snippets of other provider’s content in question?