Brazil to Google News: Leave our newspapers alone

Is Google News a freeloader? The Brazilian press believe so.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Brazil's National Association of Newspapers (ANJ) has denied Google News the ability to re-post headlines and newspaper article excerpts.


The BBC reports that all 154 members have followed the association's recommendation to opt-out of the service, which compromises of 90 percent of the total country's news circulation.

The ANJ claims that the Google News aggregation service has resulted in a drop of traffic -- and therefore advertising revenue -- something which is contrary to the technology giant's claims that the feature boosts reader rates.

Carlos Fernando Lindenberg Neto, the association's president, in an interview with the Knight Center for Journalism said:

"Google News is benefiting commercially from the content it uses and is not prepared to discuss a model of remuneration for this material. Staying with Google News was not helping us grow our digital audiences, on the contrary. By providing the first few lines of our stories to Internet users, the service reduces the chances that they will look at the entire story in our websites."

Therefore, if Google wants to feature stories originating from media outlets within the ANJ, it should pay them. The argument is thus: by including several lines of a newspaper article, the reader is less inclined to go to the source. With this in mind, the ANJ conducted an experiment with Google in 2010, which involved only publishing the headline to boost readership. The experiment failed.

The BBC writes that Google's Public Policy Director, Marcel Leonardi, defended the decision not to pay for headlines at a meeting with the American Press Association -- saying that it channels a billion clicks to news sites globally. In addition, he compared the ANJ's demand to taxing a taxi driver for taking tourists to eat at a particular restaurant.

The newspaper sites will still be indexed by Google, but to access articles, you will have to go directly to an individual website.

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