Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009

Murdoch may block Google searches

Rupert Murdoch
Mr Murdoch has come out strongly against free access online

Rupert Murdoch has said he will try to block Google from using news content from his companies.

The billionaire told Sky News Australia he will explore ways to remove stories from Google's search indexes, including Google News.

Mr Murdoch's News Corp had previously said it would start charging online customers across all its websites.

He believes that search engines cannot legally use headlines and paragraphs of news stories as search results.

"There's a doctrine called 'fair use', which we believe to be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether," Mr Murdoch told the TV channel. "But we'll take that slowly."

Mr Murdoch announced earlier this year that the websites of his news organisations would begin charging for access.

The target had been for all its sites to charge by June next year, but indications are that this is now unlikely.

News Corp owns the Times and Sun newspapers in the UK and the New York Post and Wall Street Journal in the US.

Newspapers across the world are considering the best way to make money from the internet, particularly in a time of falling advertising revenues.

The risk is that charges may alienate readers who have become used to free content and deter advertisers.



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