The situation with Google in Belgium continues to get more and more surreal. Following the original confused order for Google to stop linking to French and German-language news publications on its Belgian site, Google complied, but appealed. They also appealed the idea that they should have to reprint the entire court order ("without commentary") on the front of both Google Belgium and Google News Belgium. However, when the court rejected that appeal and started threatening fines, Google put the text on the site, in tiny, unformatted text at the bottom of each page. Now, wouldn't you know it, the publishers are whining that it was too small and too hidden on the news site. Of course, the court never said they had to make it prominent or put it at the top of the page. In the meantime, though, it seems like others are looking to jump on the bandwagon as well. The latest is that Belgian press photographers are joining the lawsuit against Google, just for the hell of it. It's not entirely clear what their complaint is, as the article continues to show that many people involved in the case don't seem to actually understand what's going on. The article (presumably based on info from the press photographers) continues to say that Google caches the stories on its Google News site, when that's simply not true. The article also says that Google has claimed removing these sites from the cache is "technically impossible," which isn't true (it both isn't technically impossible and Google never said that removing these sites was technically impossible). Either way, it's not at all clear what the photographers are complaining about. In some cases, Google does use thumbnails, but that is pretty clear fair use (then again, we thought what Google News was doing was fair use too).
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