Someone called the appearance of *Google* Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt as the closing keynote for the annual meeting of newspaper publishers “a twist of fate.” Poppycock. It’s as orchestrated as a routine on Dancing with the Stars. The Associated Press board and executives certainly knew when they announced a campaign to “protect” news content yesterday — with Google (NSDQ: GOOG) as lightening rod — that Schmidt would be the coda for the Newspaper Association of America conference concluding today in San Diego.
And what does Schmidt have to say about AP? Responding to a question after his speech: “We at Google have a multimillion-dollar deal with the Associated Press not only to distribute their content but also to host it on our servers.” That’s why, he added, “I was a little confused by all of the excitement in the news in the last 24 hours. I’m not sure what they were referring to. We have a very, very successful deal with AP and hope that will continue for many, many years.”
But Schmidt came down harder on concerns about intellectual property and fair use: “From our perspective, we look at this pretty thoroughly and there is always a tension around fair use