Google CEO Suggests Micropayments, Subscriptions Might Take Off for Online News

4/7/09Follow @bvbigelow

The Associated Press did some saber-rattling in San Diego yesterday at the annual convention of the Newspaper Association of America, and today Google CEO Eric Schmidt delivered his riposte.

In a keynote speech, AP chairman William Dean Singleton had vowed to more aggressively enforce the AP’s intellectual property rights. He said the wire service will “work with portals and other partners who legally license our content” but will take “legal and legislative remedies against those who don’t.” Singleton added, “We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories.”

Schmidt, who has described journalism as a central tenet of democracy, suggested in a keynote address of his own today that the solution to the massive problems that news organizations now face lies in innovation, and in studying the way people are accessing and using information “in the cloud.”

While it’s difficult to plan for innovation, Schmidt says it’s possible to “architect a structure where innovation is welcome, and we’re starting to see that now with a new form of computing, called cloud computing.”

In cloud computing, Schmidt says, the computer servers in the network do most of the data storage and computer processing. “In this new model,” Schmidt says, “the network is always there, always reliable. All you have to do is pick up a phone, a netbook, a PC, what have you.”

The Internet has created a quandary for news organizations around the world. On the one hand, moving the news online has made it vastly more accessible. But in the process,  newspaper advertising and classified revenues have plunged, exposing … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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