Rupert Murdoch has revealed his secret plan for News Corp. to make money on the internet: Make News Corp. invisible, on the internet. Murdoch will leave The Google, rewrite copyright law, and teach you kids to stay off his lawn!
Q: You could choose not to be on their search engine... so when someone runs a search your websites won't come up.
A: Well, I think we will... when we start charging.
This is certainly technically possible; all it takes is one correctly-placed text file to tell Google to ignore some or all of a website. And who knows, Murdoch's armies of lawyers and lobbyists might even succeed in effecting the other drastic change he mentioned: rolling back the entire doctrine of fair use, an interpretation of copyright law that allows the sort of quoting and selective reproduction of content that Murdoch's newspapers and TV networks engage in every day.
This isn't the first time Murdoch, 78, and his lieutenants have been made unfriendly noises about Google; they've recently attacked the search engine as a "parasite" with "promiscuous" users. This hostility must seem perfectly sensible if you're an old man who has your secretary find and print up Web pages on your behalf. But here's a pro tip, Rupert: Old media doesn't instant message those pages to your assistant's Twitter, via Blogger, on AOL. She just does what your newspaper reporters and Fox News producers and sales executives and tabloid editors and attack-dog flacks and mid-level accountants do all the time every day: Sticks a hot, throbbing search query into Google and gets busy with a bunch of strange website she doesn't subscribe to. Welcome to the internet.