The story of French-language Belgian newspapers' lawsuit against Google has been going on for some time. Apparently they think they're a giant TV network or record label or something, and say that Google should be paying them for "using" its content because it's abusing their copyright by linking to their stories in Google News. The fact that they won their court case against Google was baffling, but the decision's been reiterated by another court which heard the case again since Google showed up to defend itself this time, and the newspaper group has won an injunction blocking Google from indexing their sites. The publishers still don't seem to realize that they're hurting themselves, not Google. While Google would certainly like to index the sites as part of its mission to index, well, everything, it's the sites themselves that will be hurt the most here, by cutting them off from a significant source of traffic. The newspapers have said again that what they really want is payment -- but with Google not running ads on the News site, it's hard to see how there's really much revenue for it to share. While Google says it will appeal and will attempt to defend what it does -- which certainly seems like fair use -- it doesn't seem like the Belgian newspapers will ever realize that being indexed in Google News is something beneficial, even if they're not getting directly paid for it. Even if Google does eventually win the case, the cynic in us would certainly enjoy them leaving the Belgian papers out of their index afterwards, just to prove the point.
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