Murdoch in war over 'theft' of content

MEDIA tycoon Rupert Murdoch threw down the gauntlet to Google yesterday, declaring that News Corporation-owned websites such as The Times and The Sun would soon block the search engine.<br /><br />Murdoch accused Google and Microsoft of &ldquo;stealing&rdquo; content from his newspapers&rsquo; online portals and said he was planning to pull their pages from search engines&rsquo; indices.<br /><br />His comments mark a growing chasm between News Corporation&rsquo;s thinking and the approach taken by most other newspaper groups. <br /><br />Murdoch is determined to introduce paywalls to his most popular sites and believes search engines, which have soaked up advertising cash as internet &ldquo;middlemen&rdquo;, are enemies of the news industry.<br /><br />He told Sky News Australia: &ldquo;We will remove our websites from Google&rsquo;s search index but that&rsquo;s when we start charging&hellip; The people who simply pick up everything and run with it &ndash; steal our stories, we say they steal our stories &ndash; they just take them. They shouldn&rsquo;t have had it free all the time, and I think we&rsquo;ve been asleep.&rdquo;<br /><br />Murdoch also attacked the BBC, whom he accused of lifting content from the likes of The Times for its news service.