Do you remember my rant last month about the Right2Link campaign?
It seems as if News International, the British newspaper publisher owned by News Corporation, has decided it doesn’t want the patronage of visitors to NewsNow, a UK-based content aggregator.
News International has told NewsNow that it is no longer to link to content on The Times website (no link, for obvious reasons) despite the fact that some two million visitors would have benefited from seeing the content.
They’ve done it purely by using the robots.txt file, and because NewsNow is a reputable service, it has honoured that block.
What’s interesting is that no other aggregators have yet been targeted. That includes Google, whose news service has been attacked by a number of European newspaper publishers.
News International has the right to determine how its content is served up, and who to, and I have no problem with a site seeking paid subscriptions, but it still seems incredibly short-sighted to block a high-traffic site from indexing and sending visitors.