UPDATE: Despite the Googley exhortations of Doc Searls, Jason Calacanis, Paul Kedrosky...content is indeed king, paid for content that is, on and off the Web, regardless of Google's self-aggrandizing business model wishes to the contrary.
The real story is not how the Web supposedly is deemed to work, it is how business works, business law that is, on and off the Web.
1) Earth to (Washington) Post, Google is not the Web.
2) The fact that Google settled the suit with AFP says nothing about the Web.
WRONG, on both fronts. Despite Web 2.0 utopian and wishful thinking, putting editorial on the Web does NOT encompass defacto permission for anybody to index it and link to it, not even number one search engine Google.
Lawsuits ARE, apparently, the ONLY way to pull Google’s very large financial purse strings!
APRIL 6, 2007: Agence France-Presse (AFP), a global news agency based in Paris, has settled its lawsuit against Google Inc. allowing posting of news and photos from AFP journalists at Google properties, reports the Associated Press.
BUT, to pay or not to pay, that is NOT the Google question!
Google does not believe in paying for content and it is betting its entire $150 billion market cap on a die hard belief that it does not have to, at Google.com, at YouTube, or wherever the Googleplex sets its sights on next.
Not only does Google rely on a risky fair-use, DMCA gamble to back up its no need to pay for the content of others modus operandi, it doesn’t want to let partners, or prospective partners, know what they will REALLY get out of any prospective relationship, financial or otherwise, with Google.
Trust us, Mountain View says, because we ARE the best and you know you need us.
Google AdSense, case in (big) point. Google asks and answers:
How much will you earn through the program?Advertisers pay either when users click on ads, or when the advertiser's ad is shown on your site. You'll receive a portion of the amount paid for either activity on your website. Although we don't disclose the exact revenue share, our goal is to enable publishers to make as much or more than they could with other advertising networks. The best way to find out how much you'll earn is to sign up and start showing ads on your web pages.
REALLY? Standard business partnership dealings have always entailed both sides agreeing to clear and itemized financial terms, BEFORE consummating any deal.
Google has apparently consummated some type of authorized content deal with AFP, AFTER being subject to a AFP copyright infringement lawsuit regarding Google’s unauthorized use of AFP content.
A settlement of the lawsuit is announced, in typically unfulfilling Googley style:
Financial details of the settlement weren't disclosed.
The deal will allow Google to use headlines and photos on Google News and other services that drive online traffic to sites displaying AFP news. The companies didn't disclose where else AFP's news would be used by Google.
Google moral of the story? Lawsuits ARE the way to pull Google’s very large financial purse strings!