The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Search Engines

Corporate media’s arguments against Google are getting stranger and stranger. While previously the Washington Post had accused the search engine of “vacuum[ing] up their content without paying a dime,” now the Post has media lawyers Bruce Sanford and Bruce Brown (5/16/09) charging that search engines “crawl the Web and ingest everything in their path.”

Can anything be done to stop these terrifying monsters? Yes, the two Bruces say–you could change the law to require search engines to “obtain copyright permissions in order to copy and index websites.” Given that the point of this would be to force search engines to “negotiate with copyright holders over the value of their content”–that is, with millions of copyright holders located all over the world–this would likely eliminate all problems associated with search engines…by eliminating search engines. Then I’m sure we’d have a golden age of journalism once again.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.