Rupert Murdoch Threatens to Sue BBC

A smiling Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of NewsCorp leaves the NewsCorp Building after a vote by his board to approve the purchase of the Dow Jones Company at his headquarters in New York, Tuesday, July 31, 2007. (AP Photo/David Karp) AP Photo/David Karp

Murdoch and other News Corp. execs have said that they intend to charge readers and viewers. In the past, the company's sites have relied on advertising revenue.

Murdoch made it clear he's no fan of the ad-supported model. "There are no news sites or blog sites making any serious money," he said.

News Corp. chief executive Rupert Murdoch threatened to sue the British Broadcasting Corp. for allegedly stealing content from his company's newspapers and said News Corp. is considering pulling its stories from Google news searches.

In an interview with Australia's Sky News, of which News Corp. is a partial owner, the media mogul was asked why he expects Internet users to accept his plan to charge readers to access his newspapers' stories online when they can read the news for free on other Web sites such as the BBC's.

"But we're better," he said in the interview broadcast Saturday. "And anyway, if you look at them, most of their stuff is stolen from the newspapers now, and we'll be suing them for copyright. They'll have to spend a lot more money on a lot more reporters to cover the world when they can't steal from newspapers."

But he said he didn't think the matter would end up in a courtroom.

"They know the law," he said. "They will adapt."

There was no immediate response from the BBC.

In August, Murdoch said visitors to the Web sites of newspapers owned by News Corp., which include The New York Post and The Times of London, will have to start paying fees to read the news within the next year.

Murdoch told Sky News that once the company's online pay model is launched, it will probably remove its stories from Google news searches.

"I think we will, but that's when we start charging," he said.

CBS News partner site CNET reported Monday that Murdoch and other News Corp. execs have said that they intend to charge readers and viewers. In the past, the company's sites have relied on advertising revenue.

Murdoch made it clear he's no fan of the ad-supported model. "There are no news sites or blog sites making any serious money," he said.

Murdoch acknowledged that search engines such as Google direct traffic to his company's Web sites. But he said the benefit of that is marginal.

"What's the point of having someone come occasionally who likes a headline they see on Google?" he said. "We'd rather have fewer people coming to our Web sites and paying."
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