Google provides way to limit access to free web content

Google has provided a way for publishers to charge for articles in the latest move in the debate over free web content.

It has announced a change in...

Google has provided a way for publishers to charge for articles in the latest move in the debate over free web content.

It has announced a change in its First Click Free program, so that publishers can allow users to see no more than five articles per day. After five have been viewed, the user would either have to register or subscribe to see more.

The Google announcement comes after weeks of rumours surrounding the plans of Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp, which publishes papers like The Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Reports appeared of meetings between News Corp and Microsoft, with Microsoft offering to pay News Corp to remove all its content from Google, and place it on Microsoft's rival search engine Bing.

Google insists it can provide publishers with a way of making money, saying in a blog post: "News publishers can charge for their work and ensure that it's discovered through Google - these two are not mutually exclusive."

The company says it is also exploring technology that will make paid content systems like subscription services and billing platforms "more seamless for publishers and users".

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