Google CEO appeals to skeptical newspaper group

John Letzing
MarketWatch (MCT)

SAN FRANCISCO - Google Inc. Chief Executive Eric Schmidt sought to allay newspaper industry executives' concerns on Tuesday, telling them they need to work together with the Internet giant while downplaying recent indications of growing friction between Google and the Associated Press.

Schmidt's remarks came shortly after AP executives expressed concern publicly about the growing ability of Internet services such as Google to control access to the news without properly compensating the organizations that produce it.

Schmidt told an audience at the Newspaper Association of America's annual convention in San Diego that the notion that Google is now at odds with the AP is overblown. The CEO pointed to a licensing agreement Google currently has with the powerful news organization.

"We have a very, very successful deal with the AP and hopefully that will continue for many years," Schmidt said.

And while Schmidt offered praise for the way newspapers initially embraced the Internet in the 1990s, he offered a less favorable impression of how they've sought to avoid having the distribution of their content pulled out from under their control since then.

"There wasn't an act after that," Schmidt said. "You guys did superb job, and the act after that is a harder question."

However, Schmidt acknowledged the role of Internet services such as Google in altering the business of delivering news to their own financial benefit. And he underlined a fundamental disagreement between Google and many of its detractors over what constitutes the legal use of copyrighted material.

Schmidt took issue with a question about the impending "erosion" of intellectual property rights for news publishers thanks to the Internet, while allowing that his understanding of the "fair use" of copyrighted material differs on the Web from that of many in the legal profession.

"All of these partially thought-through legal systems are being challenged by the ubiquity of the Internet," Schmidt said.

Google has been sued for copyright infringement by media companies including Viacom Inc., book publishers and others.

Schmidt also addressed questions about Google's ability to sift through news content and selectively present it alongside advertising without input from news organizations. Google uses an algorithm to present news stories that is indecipherable outside of the company, and is constantly being tweaked.

While Schmidt assured the news executives that content from their publications would "float to the top in our search ranking," he said the company also seeks to provide a platform for lesser-known, quality publications. "We've not come up with a way algorithmically to handle that in a coherent way," Schmidt said.

The CEO also offered up some frank criticism of the technical capability Internet sites built by newspaper publishers.

"I think the sites are slow," Schmidt said. "They're actually slower than reading the paper, and that's something that can be worked on, on a technical basis."





Run the Jewels - "Ooh LA LA" (Singles Going Steady)

Run the Jewels' "Ooh LA LA" may hit with old-school hip-hop swagger, but it also frustratingly affirms misogynistic bro-culture.


New Translation of Balzac's 'Lost Illusions' Captivates

More than just a tale of one man's fall, Balzac's Lost Illusions charts how literature becomes another commodity in a system that demands backroom deals, moral compromise, and connections.


Protomartyr - "Processed by the Boys" (Singles Going Steady)

Protomartyr's "Processed By the Boys" is a gripping spin on reality as we know it, and here, the revolution is being televised.


Go-Go's Bassist Kathy Valentine Is on the "Write" Track After a Rock-Hard Life

The '80s were a wild and crazy time also filled with troubles, heartbreak and disappointment for Go-Go's bass player-guitarist Kathy Valentine, who covers many of those moments in her intriguing dual project that she discusses in this freewheeling interview.


New Brain Trajectory: An Interview With Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree

Two guitarists, Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree make an album largely absent of guitar playing and enter into a bold new phase of their careers. "We want to take this wherever we can and be free of genre restraints," says Lee Ranaldo.


'Trans Power' Is a Celebration of Radical Power and Beauty

Juno Roche's Trans Power discusses trans identity not as a passageway between one of two linear destinations, but as a destination of its own.


Yves Tumor Soars With 'Heaven to a Tortured Mind'

On Heaven to a Tortured Mind, Yves Tumor relishes his shift to microphone caressing rock star. Here he steps out of his sonic chrysalis, dons some shiny black wings and soars.


Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras' tētēma Don't Hit the Mark on 'Necroscape'

tētēma's Necroscape has some highlights and some interesting ambiance, but ultimately it's a catalog of misses for Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras.


M. Ward Offers Comforting Escapism on 'Migration Stories'

Although M. Ward didn't plan the songs on Migration Stories for this pandemic, they're still capable of acting as a balm in these dark hours.


Parsonsfield Add Indie Pop to Their Folk on 'Happy Hour on the Floor'

Happy Hour on the Floor is a considerable departure from Parsonsfield's acclaimed rustic folk sound signaling their indie-pop orientation. Parsonsfield remind their audience to bestow gratitude and practice happiness: a truly welcomed exaltation.


JARV IS... - "House Music All Night Long" (Singles Going Steady)

"House Music All Night Long" is a song our inner, self-isolated freaks can jive to. JARV IS... cleverly captures how dazed and confused some of us may feel over the current pandemic, trapped in our homes.


All Kinds of Time: Adam Schlesinger's Pursuit of Pure, Peerless Pop

Adam Schlesinger was a poet laureate of pure pop music. There was never a melody too bright, a lyrical conceit too playfully dumb, or a vibe full of radiation that he would shy away from. His sudden passing from COVID-19 means one of the brightest stars in the power-pop universe has suddenly dimmed.


Folkie Eliza Gilkyson Turns Up the Heat on '2020'

Eliza Gilkyson aims to inspire the troops of resistance on her superb new album, 2020. The ten songs serve as a rallying cry for the long haul.


Human Impact Hit Home with a Seismic First Album From a Veteran Lineup

On their self-titled debut, Human Impact provide a soundtrack for this dislocated moment where both humanity and nature are crying out for relief.


Monophonics Are an Ardent Blast of True Rock 'n' Soul on 'It's Only Us'

The third time's the charm as Bay Area soul sextet Monophonics release their shiniest record yet in It's Only Us.


'Slay the Dragon' Is a Road Map of the GOP's Methods for Dividing and Conquering American Democracy

If a time traveler from the past wanted to learn how to subvert democracy for a few million bucks, gerrymandering documentary Slay the Dragon would be a superb guide.


Bobby Previte / Jamie Saft / Nels Cline: Music from the Early 21st Century

A power-trio of electric guitar, keyboards, and drums takes on the challenge of free improvisation—but using primarily elements of rock and electronica as strongly as the usual creative music or jazz. The result is focused.


Does Inclusivity Mean That Everyone Does the Same Thing?

What is the meaning of diversity in today's world? Russell Jacoby raises and addresses some pertinent questions in his latest work, On Diversity.

Collapse Expand Reviews
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.