Google Blogoscoped

Monday, September 18, 2006

Legal Woes for Google News Belgium

A Belgian court, following up on a complaint by Copiepresse, ordered Google to stop showing articles from a French newspaper on its Google News site for Belgium. Reuters reports Google will have to pay 1 million Euro per day – around 1.27 Million USD – if they don’t comply.

I find the court’s decision weird as Google News only displays “fair use” snippets and thumbnails. Google News, like Google web search, is a research tool that leads you to other websites (instead of replacing them). Copiepresse general secretary Margaret Boribon told Reuters, “Google sells advertising and makes money on our content.” This is even weirder, first because Google News doesn’t have any ads, and second, you are allowed to make fair use copies even when you’re making money from them... at least by US law. And if Copiepresse disagreed with all that, it seems instead of going to court they could’ve simply put up a “robots.txt” file disallowing the Google bot from spidering their content...

[Thanks Art-one and Damien v. A..]


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