Belgian Publishers Trying To Milk Google Ban For All It's Worth

from the oh,-come-on... dept

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).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    s, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 12:21pm

    get off the internet

    belgium just should get off the internet and focus on making good beer at a cheaper price.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    James, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 12:30pm

    Perhaps...

    ... we could offer them some cheese to go with their WHINE ?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Rabid Wolverine, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 12:51pm

    Begium Google...

    They speak french, what can I say?

    Their still mad that English won out as the world-wide language of choice.

    That's why the french came up with the metric system, it's a french plot to undermine the english speaking world...

     

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    •  
      identicon
      M, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 1:19pm

      Re: Begium Google...

      now that English has won the battle, let's try and learn it! It's "they're" not 'their", DUH!

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 1:34pm

      Re: Begium Google...

      most of the world uses the metric system...the US is alone in not using it...

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Currywurry, Oct 8th, 2006 @ 3:06am

        Re: Re: Begium Google...

        With reference to the guy who said the US is alone in not using the metric system, you're wrong - Britain unnofficially uses the Imperial system. We weigh ourselves in stones, drive in miles to the gallon, use inches.

        We're the most backwards country in Europe, and i love it.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Lazy Guy, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 2:26pm

      Re: Begium Google...

      Hey, don't knock the Metric System. It is so much easier to use...plus everything in the US (except for road signs) typically have both Metric and customary units on them already.

      Anyway, Google is way ahead of the belgian times. In five to ten years, they're going to figure out how freakin' dumb they are.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Lay Person, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 12:56pm

    It's quite clear...

    It's quite clear that the Belgian authority really ought to just stick with Belgian waffles. Not too technical and kinda tough to rip off since everyone knows what Belgium is known for.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Neal, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 12:58pm

    Drop 'em

    Google should just drop Belgium period. Put a big sign on the page blaming these groups and cease doing business there. Sure, others would pick up the slack, but then these morons would sue them too and those engones would follow suit. Soon Belgium would be off the Internet.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    D.Head, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 1:09pm

    You are, your own,, worst enemy.Hey! Lets make everything suck.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Begium Google...

    that and the metric system is just more logical...

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Dogfolife69, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 1:19pm

    just drop google.be if they dont like your help

    I join google on this one.... Google should not post the court order and just drop the Google.be page... Google is provide these newspapers with more user and thus more review that could be generated from their reader, by limiting how google shows the news from their site, they restrict the number of people that might actually visit the site... face it, it google news summarizes the acticles in a more interesting way that it was written, more people would want to see the fully article... i think google should flex their power and show the belgian newspapers that messing with google over something so trivial will only hurt them in the long run.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Peter Forret, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 1:22pm

    We're not all that stupid

    For your information, Belgium is mostly Flemish speaking, with a French speaking and a tiny German speaking minority.
    Incidently it is the French press that started this ridiculous lawsuit against Google, and we're not too proud about them either. The whole thing is indeed a blatant show of ignorance about how the web -and Google- works, both on the pubisher's and the judge's side.
    Drop the publishers' sites from the Google index? I agree completely! Drop Belgium "off the Internet"? That's a bit harsh...

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Adam, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 1:33pm

      Re: We're not all that stupid

      lol... yeah, we wouldnt want to judge the people of belgium based on the idiotic policies of their government. Wouldnt that suck? if say, americans abroad were all judged by the idiotic policies of their government!?

      damn, wouldnt that suck?!


      oh... wait...

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Grammar Police, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 1:47pm

    Editors take note

    FYI, the headline should not have an apostrophe in 'its' - it is supposed to indicate possesion in this sentence.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Lay Person, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 2:23pm

      Re: Editors take note

      #15...

      Huh?...

      Sorry folks, I just can't let this one go.

      Back to grammar School with you #15.

      "Belgian Publishers Trying To Milk Google Ban For All It's Worth"

      See, the "Publishers" are possessing the "Ban" for all "It is Worth"

      I am done. Thank you.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Zach Calvert, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 1:48pm

    Google out to do just what the courts want it to do. Post the court order on the web page, remove the ability to perform searches, and just tell readers they are pulling out of Belgium and are dissapointed to do so. Then have a list of companies/people responsible for Google to make such a decision.

    It would be a funny backlash when students/teachers/intelligent people begin to knock down the doors of these companies/people.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 1:48pm

    Important insight

    What language do they speak in Belgium?
    Belch.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Editors take note

    what's wrong with reading the headline as: "...Trying To Milk Google Ban For All It Is Worth" ? i'm not trying to say you're wrong, i'm just curious...

     

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    •  
      identicon
      iHeartPirates, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 2:04pm

      Re: Re: Editors take note

      Well, it could actually be written either way. It really depends on the author's intentions. If he/she wanted it to read "it is worth", then yeah...apostrophe to show a contraction. If he/she wanted it to read as "all of the ban's worth"...then no apostrophe is needed in "its", as this is how it is used to show possession.

      Take it from a grammar nerd.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Solo, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 2:35pm

    Woohoo my country is popular!

    Being Belgian (but living in the land of Freedom, the United States of America) I can't be more pleased than to see my proud country make the news.

    Wait? They just made an ass out of themselves.

    I appreciate the knowledge and breadth of culture displayed in the other comments though. Good call about the waffles!

    More seriously, I thought this kind of crap was tried by the French as well but went nowhere. In any case, it's showing alot of ignorance both from the publishers and the judge. The rest of the world want only one thing: getting picked up by google, being indexed, showing up in the result. This is sure way to attract alot of traffic.

    This is especially true for the news media. When I use google news, I'm often sent to australian, south african, brazilian (but not belgian :) news sites.

    Somebody let them know that Google actually increases traffic to their site.

    Not all Belgian people are idiots. I can't say anything about the ones who make the news...

     

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  •  
    identicon
    homer, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 3:20pm

    order allow,deny
    deny from .be
    allow from all

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Monarch, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 3:59pm

    Waffles? Waffles?
    The first thing I think of when I think of Belgium is their excelent imported Chocolates!!!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Eran, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 4:16pm

    Ban Belgium!

    Please join us in the call to ban dot be.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    well um, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 4:17pm

    Belgium

    When I think of Belgium I think of.....hmmm I'll get back to you.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Mike Mixer, Oct 4th, 2006 @ 8:31pm

    this has gone on long enough

    Google should be to the point where they're ready to give these arrogant pencil-necks what they deserve, A google page with a big middle finger and nothing else. Screw Belgium.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Obvious Man, Oct 5th, 2006 @ 9:41am

    Fuck the fucking fuckers.

    Homer, YOU ROCK.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Obvious Man, Oct 5th, 2006 @ 9:42am

    yes! Ban goatse.ex.be forever!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2006 @ 1:04pm

    the future of history (of the present)

    50 or 100 years from now, kids in Belgium are gonna have to do a school report on some crap or other that happened today. The ones that pick relatively obscure happenings are probably going to have to resort to a page caching service such as Google. Now, when Belgian kids can't find any caches of their local news service site, they'll have to use a cached CNN or whatever page. So, 50 years from now, nobody will have a clue these Belgian news sites even existed today - conclusion, they're only biting themselves in the ass...

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Michael Hollis, Oct 5th, 2006 @ 1:38pm

    I declare war!

    Bring on the Freedom Waffles!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Arnvid, Oct 6th, 2006 @ 11:55pm

    No Belgium, No WWW

    Just as a little reminder to all those Belgiumbashers: do a google search on Robert Cailliau.Maybe you'll learn something.
    Oh and google hasn't been saving up on lawsuits themselves. They've been feverishly trying to get some localised versions (in the local dialects) to stop.
    And for the sake of it, off course it's a bit strange of this guys not wanting to be linked, but hey, it's a free country over here. And google isn't all that either. I often use other searchmethods, because google just plain sucks say 40% of the time.
    Dank u voor uw waandacht.

     

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