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2 Dec 2009

Eversheds comment: Google to limit free searches for news websites


Following the move by newspaper publishers to restrict the number of free news articles people can read via Google's search engine, Patrick Charnley, solicitor at international law firm Eversheds comments:

“The concessions made by Google reveal that news publishers have taken a long-awaited stand against Google. The reality is that without permission from the publishers, the Google News service may infringe the publisher's copyright and Google's decision reflects its acceptance of that fact.

“The written news industry is currently in a state of flux, with dwindling revenues threatening long-established publishers. With a few exceptions, most news publishers have continued to offer their online news for free. Now, they appear to be flexing their muscles in order to limit Google's distribution of their news without charge, a move that is perhaps indicative of the future of online news. The emerging business model is ill-defined at present, but limiting Google's free dissemination of news is a vital step towards any attempt to erect pay walls. The next problem that news publishers who wish to charge may have to overcome is how to entice people away from the BBC news website.”

For more information contact

Lucy Sulkin

Eversheds LLP
t: +44 (0) 207 919 0683
m: +44 (0)777 026 6290

Eversheds LLP and its world wide offices have over 4,000 people who provide services to the private and public sector business and finance community. Access to all these services is provided through 52 international offices in 30 jurisdictions. Eversheds combines local market knowledge and access with the specialisms, resources and international capability of one of the world's largest law firms.

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