Google CEO to AP: Why All the Fuss?

fsmggggoogle-doodle.jpgGoogle CEO Eric Schmidt participated in a short Q&A following speech at the Newspaper Association of America convention during which he addressed the AP’s decision to crack down on news aggregators.

With respect to the Associated Press, we at Google have a multimillion dollar deal with the Associated Press not only to distribute their content but also to host it on our servers. So I was a little confused by all of the excitement in the news in the last 24 hours. I’m not quite sure what they were referring to. But we have a very, very successful deal with the AP and hopefully that will continue for many, many years.

From our perspective, we looked at this pretty thoroughly and there was always a tension around fair use, but ultimately fair use is a balance of interest in favor of the consumer. And I would encourage everybody when they think about — in all the rhetoric, all the concern about this or that — think in terms of what your reader wants. Try to figure out how to solve their problem. These are ultimately consumer businesses and if you piss off enough of them, you will not have any more, right? Or, if you make them happy, you will grow them quickly. And so we try really hard to think that way.