Newspapers Win Suit Against Google, Get Their Wish To Be Delisted, Then Complain

from the the-world-we-live-in dept

For years, we've been following the bizarre legal attack in Belgium of a bunch of newspapers against Google for daring to link to them without paying. It kicked off in 2006 with a lawsuit. At the time, we couldn't believe that these newspapers seemed to actually be complaining that Google was giving them traffic, but that's what they did. And, amazingly, earlier this year, they won the lawsuit, with a Belgian court telling Google to pay up for past links -- and to remove all of those links.

So... you'd think the newspapers would be happy, right? Nope. David Muir points us to the news that they're complaining about the "harsh retaliation" from Google dropping them from Google's index.

So, let me get this straight. When Google links to them, it's "theft." But when they don't link to them, it's "harsh retaliation." How does that work?

Of course, what it comes down to is that this is all about money. The newspapers just want Google to pay up, so they pretend they're offended by the links, even though they know they need that traffic. So they sued, got their money... and are now suffering because Google won't link to them any more (under direct orders from the court). Perhaps next time, they'll think through the long term consequences of opting out of Google's index...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 8:23am

    Well, this is basic Psych - short-term gain often trumps a long-term plan.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 9:07am

    I have had a theory for a couple years now. Contrary to what they newspapers say about google, if google didn't link to them, many of these newspapers would have already failed financially.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    The issue is that the papers have not just been removed from Google News, but also removed from the SERPs. That isn't what the newspapers asked for.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 9:31am

    Re:

    Not the point - Google got fined and ordered to remove the links. What's to say that, later down the line, they won't demand Google do that anyway, and sue?

     

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  5.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    Probably not "already". Online revenue still represents only a tiny fraction of most newspapers' finances. But leaving Google definitely ensures that will never change and puts them in a very bad position for the future.

    As a flip-flop like this demonstrates, they don't actually have a problem with Google linking to them - they have a problem with Google making money. They see AdWords pulling in the big bucks that they used to pull in, get mad, and lash out - I doubt they could even explain what they hope to accomplish if asked. I suppose they subconsciously see advertising as a zero-sum game, which is a very silly outlook in the online arena where there is so much room for growth.

     

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    Manabi, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re:

    Yeah it is, per the article and the court order: "withdraw from all its sites (Google News and “cached” Google, or under any name whatsoever)". They asked to be removed from all of Google's servers under any name whatsoever, which includes everything Google owns, including Google Translate. And that's what Google did, in compliance with the court order.

    So they've gotten exactly what they asked for, and are only now realizing it's not what they really wanted. I feel no sorrow for them at all, this is all their own doing. (And it's notable that Google didn't remove them until after the Appeal's court upheld the ruling, this wasn't punitive on Google's part, it was simple compliance with a bizarre court order. Punitive action would have been Google removing them before the court ruled.)

     

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  7.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Re:

    Google indexes links, organizes them in useful ways depending on their content, and presents them to the user through a variety of useful interfaces.

    So now you're saying that, not only do these newspapers get to decide whether or not they are indexed, they also get to decide precisely how they are organized and presented? So basically, they get to control Google's business... Why?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Re:

    Google did exactl what it was ordered to do.

    "withdraw from all its sites (Google News and “cached” Google, or under any name whatsoever), all the articles, photographs and graphic representations from the Belgian publishers of the daily French- and German-speaking press, represented by the plaintiff, within 10 days of the present notification, under penalty of a daily fine of 1,000,000.00 EUROS per day of delay;"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    Re:

    That isn't what the newspapers asked for.

    Too fucking bad. Maybe next time they won't ask for ridiculous things in the first place, but I doubt it.

     

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    jakerome (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 9:45am

    Schadenfreude

    scha·den·freu·de
    noun, often capitalized \ˈshä-dən-ˌfrȯi-də\ : enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Re:

    It may not be what the newspaper asked for, but it IS what they courts ruled. The wording is pretty clear; their content can't show up on any of Google's properties. So, that's exactly what they did; remove the site from all Google properties, including search and translation, along with all others.

    They should have been more specific in what they asked for, especially since there was an initial ruling of a million (!!!) euros PER DAY penalty for not removing the content. I'd make damn sure none of their content was on my sites too with a penalty like that... if you sending them traffic upsets them, who knows what else might upset them?

     

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    Tom, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 9:53am

    Re: That isn't what the newspapers asked for.

    no, but it is what the judge ordered - removal from all google sites.

     

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    Paul, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 9:56am

    Advertising

    The REAL source of ALL newspaper problems is that their entire business structure grew up around selling pages of advertising who's response rate and therefore REAL value was completely unmeasureable.

    Turns out that most newspaper advertising was massively over prices BS!

    Google has an infinitely more measurable response rate and so no mater how the old business model cuts it... they are DEAD, whether they accept it or not. They'd be just as well off making buggy whips!

     

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    WDS (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Re: Schadenfreude

    Yes, it is. Still when the trouble is self imposed I don't think it is a bad thing.

     

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    Jed, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    I guess that there mothers never told them to "be careful what you wish for".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    So.. in other words.. they didn't want Google earning revenue by linking to them.. but they're now upset that Google isn't providing services to them for nothing.

     

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  17.  
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    Jesse (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Charlie bit my finger!

    I'm reminded of this video:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSM

     

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  18.  
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    Rich Fiscus (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Re: Advertising

    What's worse for the newspapers is that the new model benefits not just the consumers and Google, but also the advertisers. Why would an advertiser want to go back to the old "throw it against the wall and see what sticks" model when they can target advertising to a specific consumer?

     

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  19.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re:

    Google doesn't post ads on their news page. They do however place ads on their search results. Compared to a newspaper ad, AdWords doesn't pull in much in the way of revenue. The newspapers have gone from monopoly providers to small fish, in a very large pond, and inefficiencies have been removed from the system.

    Even if these companies did get a percentage of googles adsense revenue it would not be enough to maintain them. The newspapers would need to shed most of their structure, buildings, printing presses, non writing staff, etc, to survive.

    They are basically boned, they will never make a head first leap into this sort of world. So we are left with huff po, and thats going to go away now that AOL has gotten their life sucking claws into them.

     

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  20.  
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    Richard (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re: Advertising

    "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." attr John Wanamaker,

    Only with Google you can know a lot better - full marks for pointing this out.

     

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  21.  
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    RD, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Re:

    "The issue is that the papers have not just been removed from Google News, but also removed from the SERPs. That isn't what the newspapers asked for."

    Tough fucking shit. They want to play the "linking is THEFT!" card, then SUE over it, then WIN and think Google is going to take ANY chance whatsoever going through that again? If I got sued over something like that, I would get the hell out of the way and completely divorce myself from anything that even smelled like it might bring yet another lawsuit.

    Nope, you copyright maximalists got your win, you get to live with the consequences now too. Dont want linking? Fine, you dont get ANY linking. What you dont get to do, after whining, threatening, suing and winning a court order to cease and desist, is whine EVEN MORE that the very action you sued for is now hurting you in some way.

    Tough fucking shit.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:12am

    Re:

    Yes, it is what they asked for. The court order requires Google to remove ALL links to the news site from ALL Google websites.

     

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  23.  
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    Rob (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Perhaps google should charge them...

    It only seems fair that if they want to be part of google's family they should use that awards money to pay google to index them (or whatever they want). After getting permission from the court, of course.

     

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  24.  
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    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:21am

    Re: Schadenfreude

    In this case, I'm enjoying. I'm enjoying quite a lot. BWAHAHA!

     

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  25.  
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    johnny canada, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:22am

    One Smart Judge

    i think when the court wrote the ruling, they knew what would happen.

    A stupid law suit BUT the newspaper was within it rights so the court ruled 'NO SOUP FOR YOU' and no desert too.

     

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  26.  
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    Andrew (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Re:

    People get what is coming to them. Google tried to stop this from going through and in the end the newspapers got more than they had wanted. However I do not hold Google at fault, as everyone who replied to you said "They got exactly what they asked for".

    So tough, I hope this is a stepping stone from which other newspapers can see that this will hurt their business in the long run...

     

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  27.  
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    Shawn, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Charge the newspapers in question

    I personally think google should relisted the sites in the general search engine, After the newspapers in question agree to a basic flat rate to pay for said listings... something like 10k euro per day sounds about right to me..

     

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  28.  
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    sehlat (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:29am

    Value Is Relative

    What the newspapers forgot to ask, in their frenzy to bludgeon Google into "respecting" them, was "How much is the information (web pages) worth, and to whom?"

    So they demanded, and got, a court order, requiring Google to remove their valuable web pages from Google's indexes, link sets, etc.

    Now they complain because they forgot to ask "How much is information worth IF NOBODY CAN FIND OUT ABOUT IT?"

    Google provides an incredibly useful service, linking interested parties with information that is useful to those parties, and the ability to locate relevant information makes each indexed page more valuable in an overall sense.

    Now they're complaining that, as a direct result of their own actions and demands, their websites have suddenly become less valuable, because they have forbidden people to find them.

    Does this count as karma?

     

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  29.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Interesting demonstration of the power of Google, no?

    So now let's extrapolate, just a tiny amount, to where Google is in control of much more advertising, and determining what you read too by way of that control. I suppose no one here sees ANY potential problem with having an advertising monopoly. -- Probably because fed from Google's gravy train, as Mike is. Far from being libertarian, when monopoly sends money your way, you're for it. Google is just spreading bribes around until consolidated, then it'll be different.

     

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  30.  
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    John Doe, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re: Interesting demonstration of the power of Google, no?

    Google has about 2/3 of the search market share from one link I found and Bing has most of the rest so Google doesn't not have a monopoly. Also, many people are finding content through other means such as social sites. So no, they aren't a monopoly.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Was the judge being sneaky here and sticking a finger in the eyes of the newspapers when he ordered the removal of the newspapers from all of Google's assets under penalty of 1 million euros a day?
    After the court decision being upheld, if I were Google I would have removed everything related to the newspapers from my servers too.

     

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  32.  
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    John Doe, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Interesting demonstration of the power of Google, no?

    Another thought here. What exactly do you have a problem with? Google providing ads with their search results? Do you think they should provide free searches (no ads) out of the goodness of their hearts?

     

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  33.  
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    Richard Vernon, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    They messed with the bull and got the horns.

     

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    KB, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Re:

    Google has no legal obligation to anyone. It's a corporate entity. They can choose to omit whomever they like, wherever they like, from their indices.

     

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    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:46am

    Does this mean we're getting to see some Belgians waffle?

     

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  36.  
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    Trails (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re:

    Not only that, but many services operate off of Google's index, i.e. they all have the same data store. Removal from a data store for service X implies removal from all other services using that data store.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re: Interesting demonstration of the power of Google, no?

    Google doesn't control what I read. Did they plant some sort of device in you that turns all words into gibberish unless it is approved by them? Did they plant a device in your computer that only allows it to go to webpages that are at the top of Google results?

    No? Then they don't control what you read either. Yes, they have power. Exaggerating that power isn't helpful to anyone. If you don't like the power they have then talk about their actual power and why you don't think it is a good idea for them to have it. Plead your case to people. Don't just say that they control the universe and everything in it.

    --This post was brought to you by our new product, Google Shills. For the latest pro-Google stance, please visit our website at http://shills.google.com

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:56am

    Re:

    The first time I read that, I missed the word 'eyes' and thought that a finger was being stuck somewhere else. Thanks for the laugh even though it was unintentional.

     

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  39.  
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    taoareyou (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Perhaps the judge ordered this to set a precedent. One that will be a shining example to anyone else that thinks about suing Google for linking to them.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    Re: Interesting demonstration of the power of Google, no?

    And you seriously wonder why no one takes you seriously?

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Re: Advertising

    Buggy whips is probably a more profitable industry than the newspapers are! I'm serious.

     

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  42.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Advertising

    Something that has been bothering me for a while is, why are they called buggy whips? You don't actually whip the buggy with then, you whip the horse.

     

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  43.  
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    Manabi (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Advertising

    They were designed to be used from a buggy seat instead of being on the horse directly. Among other things, they need to be longer than a whip designed for riding the horse directly would need to be.

     

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  44.  
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    Manabi (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re: Charge the newspapers in question

    Actually Google can't relist them without being fined. The newspapers will have to get the court order removed before Google can list them again, something they don't seem to realize what with claiming Google is retaliating against them, when Google's simply doing what the court ordered it to do.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re:

    what about the other search engines? google isn't the only one.

     

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  46.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Re:

    But the law is the law! The judge said so and Goggle did so!

    Everything was removed as directed, Belgium newspapers now exist on the only landlocked island known to man! They've accomplished the impossible, congratulations! By the way, isolation is a cold lonely place, but it was only brought to you at your request (ahem lawsuit).

    On a side note that is oh so obviously related: How come when the law is in favor of content industries all we hear is "The law is the law!"? Regardless of how short sighted it may be, and despite how it is typically very one-sided in favor of content industries, or how a single song costs thousands of dollars in fines if you get it from the wrong site but is only 99 cents from the "correct" site, etc. The claim is repeatedly made ad nauseum as if you expect to hypnotize the world with your droning until everyone agrees with the content industries version of a one way legal system.

    Here's some breaking news for you - content that is unknown is destined to stay that way and unlikely to EVER make a profit. The internet dwarfs previous all previous communication tools and if the content industry thinks they will change it to suit their needs specifically then they will suffer the consequences as these Belgian newspapers are doing now.

    Enjoy!

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    Google News is just a filtered view for the organic search results... there's no such thing as something that exists in SERPs but is "removed" from Google News. They aren't really separate services. You're either in the index (globally) or you aren't.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    Re: Value Is Relative

    Does this count as karma?

    Yes, yes it does.

     

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  49.  
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    Jimr (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Yes it all about the money.
    With out being able to link to them or find them in a search they may as well remove their site from the internet. They effectively de-listed themselves! HA HA!

    It would be like putting trademark/copyright on your city name and then refusing it to be used by map making companies. After all those map making companies are money off you just because you are there.

    I think this should hopefully server a good lesson for other newspapers. Mostly like not...

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Charge the newspapers in question

    They probably could relist them without being fined, if they had a signed contract with the paper to do so.

     

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  51.  
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    Onnala (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Argument for Monopoly?

    There has been a lot of push in the political field against Google by their competitors of late trying to basically state that they are a monopoly and need to be regulated. People rightly point out that Google is just a web page much like Bing and Yahoo are web pages. However no one really knows how valuable Google is when it comes to search, Google News, ect.

    So my question is, could this court order removing specific newspapers from all their indexes, be used against Google? Showing just how devastating being removed from Google is?

    This would seem to be a good example to follow sense they were not removed for abuse, spam, or down listed as irrelevant. So it removes a lot of other factors and gives you a better idea of how much being linked to from Google is worth.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:44am

    The newspapers shouldn't have won the court case in the first place. (seriously, hasn't anyone involved with the case heard about robots.txt?)

    But I agree that this might be a clever move from the judge to discourage anyone anywhere for asking for the same treatment again. But I think it's more likely that everyone involved (except maybe google) is just technologically inept.

     

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  53.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Find me a non geek who can define what a search engine is, let alone name a single one other than, or perhaps even including, Google.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Advertising

    Maybe they were called buggy whips because that term was not already trademarked?

     

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  55.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:58am

    Re: Charge the newspapers in question

    I personally think Google should never relist these sites ever again.

    Even if the court restriction were removed, Google may just find it is too risky to ever include these sites in its indexes. After all, they got sued once before.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    Sounds like the newspapers probably assumed Google would rather pay them and have a "comprehensive" search engine than not list them, and Google has decided otherwise.

     

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  57.  
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    taoareyou (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Argument for Monopoly?

    Except Google does not have a monopoly. There are dozens of search engines which are all equally accessible. Just because Google is more popular does not mean it has a monopoly. Having a monopoly implies no choice.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Re:

    It's what they deserve. if I was google I would remove every single mention of them on all of my pages and services.

     

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  59.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    Re:

    If a judge did this it would only be because of wasting the court's time, and to avoid future time wasting.

    So ban it, and ban it good.

    That way they can't waste an appeal court's time to complain that they got too little. They would get laughed out of court to appeal and complain that they got what they asked for.

     

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  60.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Argument for Monopoly?

    These Belgium newspapers ought to promote non-Google search engines. That would show Google!

    Obscure newspaper not findable on Google advertises an obscure search engine that nobody uses. Sounds like a great plan!

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Value Is Relative

    I don't think so, If anything it counts as spitting straight up in the air then complaining it landed on your eyes. Or, cutting the bridge you are standing on. It's just sheer stupidity.

     

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  62.  
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    James, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    They got what they wanted

    No crying. Let this serve as an example to anyone else who asks for such nonsense.

     

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  63.  
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    emdc (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Let' s hope that the newspaper's relationship with Bing goes a lot more smoothly.

     

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  64.  
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    David Liu (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Schadenfreude

    No, when the troubles are self imposed, it's especially hilarious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why? is someone actually using Bing? ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    dwg, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re:

    YAY! You saved me having to point this one up. Wait for the obligatory "What about Free Speech?" posts anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Stephen, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

    Belgium

    Belgium.

    Less offensive words have been created in the many languages of the galaxy, such as joojooflop, swut and Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish.

    The use of bad language can have unforseen circumstances. One example is the war between the G'gugvunts and the Vl'hurgs, caused by a casual remark made by Arthur Dent being mistaken as a terrible insult.

    Simultaneous Babel Fish translation also means that any being can be rude to any other being without the need for extensive explanations. This has also started many wars.

    The reason the Earth has been shunned for so long is also due to a language problem. On Earth, Belgium refers to a small country. Throughout the rest of the galaxy, Belgium is the most unspeakably rude word there is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    dwg, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Interesting demonstration of the power of Google, no?

    Way to go off-topic! Glad you got to grind your axe here.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Google should re-list them... after they return the original settlement money, with interest.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    "Google today stopped its so-called boycott"

    http://allthingsd.com/20110718/after-copiepresse-boycott-google-restores-search-of-news-sites/

    "G oogle today stopped its so-called boycott of the Copiepresse newspapers (that had sued it) after they agreed not to enforce copyright infringement fines, but says it doesn’t plan to use such tactics as a matter of practice."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    Well, reading the court order, it enumerates articles, pictures and graphical representations as the things that need to be removed. Links don't appear to be mentioned.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    and thats google's problem.....how??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually I think they're upset that Google isn't paying to provide them with services.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re:

    In principle that might be true but at 90%+ market share for internet search in the EU acting on said principle could land them in some hot water over monopoly abuses with regulatory agencies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    they asked for it.

    At the bottom of page 2 of the 2006 notice: http://images.chillingeffects.org/notices/5133.pdf

    the court says (in french) to remove the data from "all their sites... any form of cache". Since the index fits both those conditions, all Google could do was to dump the sites entirely.

    even the 2011 court order is similar:
    hxxp://www.copiepresse.be/pdf/Copiepresse5mai2011.pdf
    (change hxxp to http for active url) middle of page 40, maintains the same order to remove all cached content.

    Remember that even presenting a link to the site is a form of cache in itself since it caches the article title and the name of the paper.
    Result: removal = nuke entire site, as ordered by the court. In summary, the judge let them have all the rope they wanted to hang themselves.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    FuzzyDuck, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    Re:

    "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

    Re: "Google today stopped its so-called boycott"

    yup.. just checked... those .BE link farms are back in the Google index and with cached snippets too! :(

    booooo @Google.. they should have kept to the court order and not give in to these guys.

    2 days ago these search results were EMPTY, now it's a mountain of web spam in there:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Adhnet.be
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Alalibr e.be
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Alesoir.be
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Asudpres se.be
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Alecho.be
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Agrenzec ho.be

     

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  78.  
    icon
    Onnala (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Argument for Monopoly?

    Weather they do or don't have a monopoly isn't what I was driving at. There are those that are trying to paint them as having one and this particular event could give them something to point to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Re: they asked for it.

    I don't know if you read French. I do and what it says is not that they should remove "the data". It specifies: "tous les articles, photographies, et representations graphiques". This translates to "All articles, photos and graphical representations". Links are not included. Now, Google does have a point that they could legitimately fear the snippet under the search result or even the link being the target of another lawsuit. (which is basically what they said) But it's not the same thing as saying that the court specifically required that "all the data" be removed from its servers.

     

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  80.  
    icon
    Onnala (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

    Re: new business model?

    If they wanted to do that they should have all gone behind a paywall and then contacted Google and get an agreement together to index their site with joint advertising. Going to court was probable the wrong first move.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    icon
    Any Mouse (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Unfortunately, most of my non-geek friends tend towards... Bing... I'm so ashamed of them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Absolutely! People should not use themselves as a statistically significant sample size on the market share of anything. Just because YOU use Google, doesn't mean everyone does.

    Yahoo and Bing both hover around 15% of the search market:
    http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Search-Engines/Google-Bing-Yahoo-Search-Share-Stays-Steady-ComScor e-121350/

    However, that article says they have held steady over the past quarter. But Bing is up from around 11% a year before. That's some pretty good progress, and a non-insignificant share of the market.
    http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100310/FREE/100319996/1089/FREE

    S ure, Google still dominates, but your question indicates an lack of awareness that this is still a hotly contested, competitive market.

     

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  83.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re:

    Good point. We could argue that it IS what the papers asked for, cuz it is...but even if it weren't...too bad. They don't get to manage Google's business as they wish it to be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re:

    "People get what is coming to them." Maybe this time...but you're pretty optimistic if you think that's a generality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If Google's search engine has inferior results because they omit the best results, then people can switch to any of the competitors.

    The competitors exist, have viable offerings, and there is no switching costs to go from Google to the others. There are very low barriers to entry for any new search company to launch a competing service.

    Google has no market control, and no cause for regulation or interference. To be a monopoly requires barriers to entry for competitors, a lack of viable competitors, price control of supply. Google exhibits none of the above, and in fact, sells by auction. How can anyone claim a something is a monopoly when it sells by auction into an unrestricted market?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: Interesting demonstration of the power of Google, no?

    You're overall point is spot on, but a more accurate search market share breakdown (including Yahoo!):

    http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Search-Engines/Google-Bing-Yahoo-Search-Share-Stays-Steady-ComS core-121350/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re: "Google today stopped its so-called boycott"

    "they should have kept to the court order and not give in to these guys."

    Not true. Google's job of doing no evil, and just offering the best search results they can requires them to accept Copiepresse's offer not to allow their stories in search results (but not Google News).

    If I launch a search about news on the price of gems in Antwerp, Google's role is to provide me with the best related stories.

    This is further proof that there IS competition in Search, and that Google continues to compete to offer the best search tool they legally and economically can.

    Google chose the high road, and this is a much better business decision than the alternative of "Nyah, nyah!" Besides, that point was already well established!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re:

    Yup, the content cannot show up - but that does not preclude it from being a "no cache" SERP. You don't have to be in the google cache to be in the search results. What Google did was go beyond the court order (or they read it sideways) and remove them from everything Google in any fashion, in any way, at any time.

    I wouldn't be shocked if they are labelled as a bad neighbourhood, and hurt anyone that links to them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not to mention many browsers and services default to other search engines.

    For example if I type terms into the address bar of Firefox I get the Yahoo search page (I don't remember if the search bar originally defaulted to Google or I had to change that one manually).

    I'm assuming IE defaults to Bing (but I wouldn't know as I have IE locked down).

    Monopoly implies lack of choice, and you don't have lack of choice if people have to/choose to actually go looking for your service.

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 6:54pm

    Ban all media

    All we need is Google and Bing to stop indexing any references to movies and music. Remove the ability to find it, to buy it, or to do anything with it online. After all, anyone looking for music must be a pirate, or into child porn, right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 6:56pm

    How long

    How long until the newspapers to complain to the EU and ask them to sue Google for antitrust violations? The world appears to have an endless supply of dipshits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Find me a non geek who can define what a search engine is...

    Yahoo and Bing between them account for a pretty substantial chunk of the search market.

    Which sums up the difference between anecdote and actual market research...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 7:20pm

    Re: "they should have kept to the court order and not give in to these guys."

    But if it’s a “court order”, then it’s “contempt of court” not to obey it, isn’t it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    icon
    Claire Ryan (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re: they asked for it.

    Not to pick any nits here, but I don't think it's fair to assume that Google nuked the sites entirely because they were being cautious or wanted to prove a point. Do we actually know what's involved in removing everything BUT the links from their servers, in such a way that they would be 100% sure that nothing left could be construed as articles, photos, or graphical representations to the court in question?

    To be honest, this sounds more like they simply took the option that would be easiest to implement in the shortest possible time frame. When you're looking at fines of silly-money-per-day if you don't comply, it's entirely possible to have no reason to putz around and literally no time to implement a solution other than the nuke.

    Sucks for the newspapers, of course, but considering how technologically tone-deaf many courts are, Google's actions are not surprising at all. I can't imagine what a judge would think if Google had to explain why they hadn't gotten rid of all the 'content' yet: "Sorry, we're trying to make sure they're still listed in our index - yes, we know you told us to remove all that stuff, it's not the same thing, trust us - no, really, you don't need to fine us..."

    Yeah. Google ain't that stupid.

    (FYI - not an engineer herp derp)

     

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  95.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To be a monopoly requires barriers to entry for competitors, a lack of viable competitors, price control of supply.

    Sure, but to be declared a monopoly by the EU is a much lower bar, if you're an American company. ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Charge the newspapers in question

    I don't know Belgian law, but since the thing preventing the listing now is not a contract but a court order, a contract may not be effective in getting around it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 18th, 2011 @ 8:20pm

    Re: Re: Charge the newspapers in question

    Maybe they could demand an agreement not to sue before relisting them, and/or some money in an escrow account to pay for any legal fees.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    identicon
    JustSomeGuy, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 8:27pm

    Legal obligation

    Actual Google *does* have legal obligations. They cannot just do whatever they want. Their legal obligations, however, don't extend to doing what the newspapers now want.

    In fact, they're required to specifically *not* do that, the learned judge said so, to the tune of a million-euro-per-day fine if they try.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99.  
    identicon
    Alien Bard, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 11:14pm

    Re: Interesting demonstration of the power of Google, no?

    Yes, that would be a problem and I expect that most of the people here would take issue with it if there was evidence suggesting this was happening. Fortunately that does not appear to be the case at this time, nor is there any indication that Google is attempting to create that situation. When and if that changes we can discuss the matter further.

     

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  100.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 7:03am

    from Google dropping them from Google's index.

    That's exactly what should be done. Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Jul 19th, 2011 @ 7:10am

    Re:

    The issue is that the papers have not just been removed from Google News, but also removed from the SERPs. That isn't what the newspapers asked for.

    I don't blame Google for ridding themselves of these papers 100%, they are a liability to Google. That would be my call, if it was mine to make.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2011 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you're getting too hung up on the word 'monopoly' to see the point. The point is, at 90% market share, there are absolutely European regulatory agencies that are going to get antsy if they perceive an abuse of said market-share. This incident could be perceived in such a way. So while in principle it is true that they can omit whoever they want doing so might rub the wrong people the wrong way. That's not a good thing and it's not even a very reasonable response but it's reality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103.  
    icon
    DaveHowe (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Re: BING

    Actually, that's an interesting thought.

    IE defaults to Bing, but Bing has been caught several times harvesting its results from google.

    I wonder if this will cause a cascade removal from other search engines after their backend "comparison" searches to google fail? :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104.  
    icon
    lrobbo (profile), Jun 8th, 2012 @ 2:37pm

    Serves them right for greed. Idiots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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