June 17, 2010 at 17:20 PM EDT
Google Planning A Paid Content System For Publishers In Italy
Google ( NSDQ: GOOG ), which had hinted for nearly a year now that it was working on building some sort of paid content system for publishers, is reportedly launching such a system in Italy, where it has had some of its ugliest confrontations with the news industry. According to a report in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica , Google is reaching out to publishers there to get them to participate in the program, which it is calling Newspass. Google wouldn’t comment on the La Repubblica report, saying “we don’t preannounce products and don’t have anything to announce at this time.” But the Newspass system—at least from the translation of the La Repubblica report—appears to have many elements of a paid content proposal Google made to the Newspaper Association of America last fall. Back then, Google said it was “uniquely positioned to help publishers create a scalable e-commerce system via our Checkout product and also enable users to find this content via search—even if it’s behind a paywall.”
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