Murdoch might sue BBC


It might have been bluster, but Rupert Murdoch used an interview with Sky News Australia to have another pop at the BBC, accusing the British public broadcaster of “stealing” content from his newspaper empire.

Murdoch was specifically addressing his proposals to start charging for access to content from his newspaper’s website. The Wall Street Journal, also News Corp owned, already charges a fee for such access.

However, The Times (of London) and The Australian are currently free to access.

Murdoch, in the interview, argued that the BBC (and Australia’s publicly-funded ABC) were already taking content for their own websites from Murdoch’s papers. “If you look at them, most of their stuff is stolen from the newspapers now, and we’ll be suing them for copyright. They will have to spend a lot more money on a lot more reporters to cover the world when they can’t steal from newspapers.”

The BBC employs 6,000 people in its BBC News and English Regions division, with newsgathering teams operating from 40 bureaux across the world.

Murdoch said he would no longer tolerate a ‘fair use’ policy for lifting text and copy from his newspapers.