James Murdoch confirms talks with Google

Over possible revenue share model for online content

LONDON -- News Corp. Europe and BSkyB boss James Murdoch has confirmed that the media company is having talks with Google over a possible revenue share model for its online content.

Speaking at the launch of a new digital humanities department at London's University College, Murdoch said he was surprised that Google chief executive Eric Schmidt had gone public on the behind-the-scenes discussions, but said he read the disclosure as a willingness to do business.

"What was encouraging from our perspective was that it was really a recognition that what they [Google] are doing with respect to not making a fair contribution -- actually not making a contribution at all -- is not enough..." Murdoch told an audience which included his father, Rupert Murdoch.

"I cannot speak to intent or desire but I would say that what I read into those comments and making them in public was a real recognition that the approach they have taken so far does not work."

Both Murdoch Junior and Senior have consistently attacked Google for making money out indexing and searching online content in which the software giant has made no investment.

News Corp. plans to put its British newspapers behind a pay wall from next month in an effort to protect its journalistic investment.

Murdoch also hit out at the British Library's decision to digitize its newspaper archive, which spans more than three centuries.

The Library is the institution that keeps copies of all books, newspapers and periodicals that are published here.

Murdoch argued that online copyright should remain with the publishers, who would lose out if the content was either given away free or charged for by the library.
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