We don't steal content, but operate like virtual newsagent: Google

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London, Dec. 4 (ANI): Rejecting media mogul Rupert Murdoch's charge that it is guilty of "theft", Google has claimed that it does "not steal content", but it is operating like a "virtual newsagent."'

"We do not steal content. If you look at Google search and Google News what you will find is snippets, a little line that will take you through to the original websites," The Guardian quoted Matt Brittin, the director of Google UK, as saying.

"That's accepted as in line with copyright law worldwide, seen as like a newspaper article quoting lines from a book in a book review. We defend copyright owners' rights and it's wrong to paint us as stealing content. We are like a virtual newsagent," he added.

Brittin told MPs on the Commons culture, media and sport select committee that publishers had control over how their material appeared on the controversial aggregation service Google News.

"Publishers have control, they choose to make content available for free online. They have control now and have always had control to allow them to opt out. They can say, 'I don't want to appear in Google search or in Google News or in one and not the other'," he said.

Brittin's appearance at parliament coincided with a similar defence of the company by Google's chief executive, Eric Schmidt.

Writing in the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal, Schmidt said: With dwindling revenue and diminished resources, frustrated newspaper executives are looking for someone to blame.

"Much of their anger is currently directed at Google, whom many executives view as getting all the benefit from the business relationship without giving much in return. The facts, I believe, suggest otherwise," he added.

Google has come under sustained attack recently from Murdoch, who is preparing to introduce online charging at all his newspapers worldwide, including the Sun and the Times in the UK. (ANI)

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