Google Inc helps newspaper websites make money through online advertising and does not misappropriate their content, a lawyer for the search engine said on the company's blog on Tuesday.
We drive traffic and provide advertising in support of all business models -- whether news sources choose to host the articles with us or on their own websites, wrote Alexander Macgillivray, Google's associate general counsel for products and intellectual property.
Users like me are sent from different Google sites to newspaper websites at a rate of more than a billion clicks per month, he wrote.
The blog post comes a day after The Associated Press, a 163-year-old news wire paid for by its member newspapers, said it was working on a new plan to protect its content from misappropriation on the Internet.
It also comes on the day that Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt plans to speak at the Newspaper Association of America's annual meeting.
Some readers, users and journalists have asked us if the AP's plan is about Google since we host complete AP articles, Macgillivray wrote. The answer is that it doesn't appear to pertain to Google since we host those articles in partnership with the AP.
Publishers from The New York Times Co to EW Scripps Co are struggling with a decline in advertising revenue that threatens the survival of some of their newspapers.
They are trying to find ways to make more money online to make up for what they are losing in their print editions, but so far that has been impossible.
Some journalists have complained that search engines run by Google and Yahoo Inc make millions of dollars off their news, and that it should belong to them instead.
Macgillivray disputed this idea, saying Google helps newspapers rather than hurts them.
In all cases, for news articles we've crawled and indexed but do not host, we show users just enough to make them want to read more -- the headline, a 'snippet' of a line or two of text, and a link back to the news publisher's website, he wrote.
That practice conforms to U.S. copyright law, he said, adding that newspapers or wire services that object to Google's fair use of their content can request that it be removed from the company's index.
(Reporting by Robert MacMillan; editing by John Wallace)