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French publishers vs Google: ‘You are becoming our worst enemy’

December 16th, 2008 | 5 Comments | Posted by in Magazines, Newspapers, Online Journalism, Search

The headline quote comes from a round-up up by Eric Scherer of a meeting involving French newspaper and magazine publishers and Google. The meeting suggests some heavy anti-Google feeling on the publishers’ part.

According to one executive at the event, magazine and newspaper publisher Lagadère is on the brink of reporting Google to the EU Commission for ‘predatory practices’.

Watch the video below (courtesy of Adrian Vanachter Damien Van Achter of Scherer’s tweeted coverage of the meeting and make your own mind up as to which party you agree with.

One quote that grabbed my attention, however, was newspapers reported remark: “You are accepting the end of news as we know it.”

Google, secrecy about its algorithms and dominance of the online ad market aside, is looking forward; newspapers are trying to protect and control what they perceive as news and the news business. The problems they are facing, some related to Google and others not, should show them that this self-interested attitude can’t be maintained and their perception of ‘news as we know it’ is out-dated.

Jeff Jarvis sums this up in a blog post reacting to Scherer’s report:

“This anti-Google attitude comes from an apparent sense of entitlement that we see clearly in France but also elsewhere: Google owes us (…) They – like other publishers and journalists – think a market should be built around what they need and that there is a fair share that belongs to them even though they did not innovate and change so those who did should rescue them. But as Scott Karp has said, no one guarantees them a business model.”

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