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Murdoch ready to sue Google: report   2010-03-02 19:50:53 FeedbackPrintRSS

File photo of News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

by Rob Welham

BEIJING, March 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp owner, is "ready to sue" Google over the search giant's indexing of his newspaper content, according to media reports.

Over the past year the media mogul has waged a vitriolic war of words with Google, accusing the search giant of getting a free ride on News Corp's journalism with services such as Google News.

In a detailed profile of Murdoch published in the New York Magazine, a senior media executive claims Murdoch is ready to see the search giant in court. "He’s pretty tightly wound up over Google and has been ready to sue them,” the executive claims. “He doesn't trust them at all.”

Another unnamed executive from MySpace, the flagging social-networking site that Murdoch paid 580 million U.S. dollars for in 2005, claims Murdoch is ill at ease in the internet sphere.

"Digital is out of his comfort zone,” he told the newspaper. “It's much more the Wild West. He gets the raw-competition part of it, but he's never been in a place where the business model isn’t clear. The destruction is just happening so fast.”

As for Google they have continually dismissed what they do is theft. In a statement recently Josh Cohen, the head of Google News, said, “We’re not going to pay for indexing, it’s something we just don’t do.”

News Corp is adamant in its claims however.

Last year, Murdoch and his senior executives decided they needed an organized counteroffensive. Launching Project Alesia, named after Julius Caesar’s victorious siege of the Gallic forces in 52 B.C., Murdoch began his fight against Google as a political campaign.

Murdoch and Robert Thomson, who was hired to run the Wall Street Journal in May 2008, then initiated a series of provocative speeches to drum up press, and used News Corp.’s media outlets and other interview opportunities to shape the debate.

In February 2009, during an appearance on Charlie Rose, Thomson said, “Google devalues everything it touches.”

In April, Thomson followed up in another interview saying, “Certain websites are best described as parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the Internet.” And in December, Murdoch himself published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal declaring that “there are those who think they have a right to take our news content and use it for their own purposes without contributing a penny to its production … To be impolite, it’s theft.”


Editor: Anne Tang
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