Google Hoping Someone In Belgium Recognizes How The Internet Works

from the here,-let-us-show-you.... dept

Earlier this week, we wrote about how a Belgian court had ordered Google to stop indexing French and German speaking newspapers on their Google News site and within the Google cache. As we noted at the time, the ruling seemed confused, as it often mixed up the idea of Google News and Google cache (as well as how Google advertises, claiming that it advertised on Google News, which it does not). Since then, Google has appealed the case (which has been accepted) and also followed through on the demand that they remove those Belgian sources from their index (they did so for both Google News and the full Google index, on the Belgian versions only).


However, today, they’re contesting the second part of the order, requiring the company to post the entire text of the order on the front page of each site, without any commentary from Google. Google is claiming that this is unnecessary and disproportionate. Instead, they are simply linking to an online copy of the order — which seems to make a lot more sense. The best coverage of this story, however, may come from search engine expert Danny Sullivan who spent some time talking to the Belgian industry association that’s pushing this. He comes to the conclusion that they don’t really understand what they’re doing and they don’t really understand the internet. He tried discussing it with them, but it seems to come back to the same ridiculous thinking we’ve come across before: jealousy. The newspapers are jealous that Google has created something that’s useful. Even though it adds great value to their sites, they feel that Google should pay them to make their sites more useful. It’s this kind of thinking that pretty much dooms them to obsolescence. Google can get by just fine without them. Whether or not they’ll be able to survive without Google giving them traffic is, perhaps, a more important question.


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Comments on “Google Hoping Someone In Belgium Recognizes How The Internet Works”

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20 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Just a quick symantic correction…it’s not whether or not “they’ll be able to survive without Google giving them traffic” it’s whether or not they’ll survive with Google sending all that traffic elsewhere. If my competition suddenly decided they no longer wanted to advertise (for free!) in the most popular medium available, I’d be a verry happy man.

I hope you follow up on the very interesting question of whether or not Google was ordered to remove the content of newspapers that weren’t even involved in the lawsuit.

ScytheNoire says:

Judges at fault

Here’s the problem when it comes to technology and judges, or politicians for that matter. Their lack of understanding is the problem. There should be a law that no judge can rule on a court case without first clearly understanding the technology in question. If the judge understood how the internet works, they might realize what’s actually happening.

But then how many trials were bungled because people didn’t understand DNA? I mean, it’s a 99.94% chance that is the person who matches that DNA. So there’s a 0.06% chance it’s not him! Aha!

French coward says:

The French newspaper “Le Monde” put an editorial in which they say that they made a deal with Google two years ago granting them a certain degree of control (they can ask Google to remove links) and that’s it. They say that abont 10% of their site’s visitors come through Google.
I couldn’t find it, but I’m not sure I can put up a link anyway…

Belgian coward says:

People shitting on Belgian because of this should

Google sends lots of traffic to Belgian news paper: FALSE most of them get their traffic directly with people entering the URL
Court confusing Google cahce and google news: FALSE These correspond to two different ‘cease and desist’ orders: 1. google provided through its cache free access to documents that were sold on the newspaper website.
2. Google News re-edited contents from Belgian news paper, the example cited in court is a picture from a Belgian newspaper shown in Google News to illustrate an article from a UK newspaper.

Chris Maresca (user link) says:

Not even linking to the court order...

I just looked at the Google.be website, in Dutch and French (I speak both), but I could not find the ‘link’ to the court order anywhere, not on the homepage or the news section.

I think the case is pretty ridiculous, whatever the actual details. The fact is that Google News may not be perfect, but it doesn’t claim to be and it’s still a new thing in most places outside of the English speaking world.

However, what ever problems newspapers have with Google news, courts are the wrong place to resolve them. Better to make Google work for you rather than fighting against it.

Chris.

Observer says:

God help the belgians!

This case just reminds me of the tendency of people to live in the past, and not realize that the world has moved on. In this case, the belgian newspapers do not realize that even if referrals are right now not the biggest source of their traffic (not sure whether this statement is true, but even ASSUMING that it is true), it will soon be the case in most businesses competing for the same user traffic, that referrals from other sites will become a critically important factor for success. This case is so ridiculous, i dont even know what more to say! (and no, i know for a FACT that google does NOT edit any content on their news page)

Yuri says:

funny/silly

Just came back from vacation, opened IE window and was a bit shocked to see the white page raped. At first I didn’t get it, but then I dug a bit and found out the cause. Well, it IS annoying, so I switched to Firefox and the text is nowhere to be seen, as I can stay on the ‘normal side of the browser’ without being automatically directed to .be. Belgium is going nuts.

Shumy says:

BIG SCAM in Belgium Auto Van Dessel

They did the same to me. Now they don’t admit that I payed for the plate numbers even though I have the facturen(receipt) they didn’t complete the papers for export and I had to pay extra money again for the EUR1 document of the car. Also they asked for a warranty untill I gave them back the export document that they needed but they couldn’t even do their work with the papers. This is outrageous and I will never buy car from Belgium EVER !!! so keep i mind this name and be aware !!!!!

http://www.vandessel.com

ELIZABETH TROY says:

FRANCE AND BELGIUM ARE PIGS - DO NOT BUY ANYTHING

ATTENTION TO ALL PEOPLE OF THE WORLD = =
DO NOT PURCHASE, BUY ANY PRODUCTS MADE IN BELGIUM OR FRANCE. THEY WANT THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD TO LEAVE THEM ALONE SO LET US DO THAT = LEAVE THEM AND ALL THEIR PRODUCTS ALONE. IN MY OPINION, THESE BUSINESS PEOPLE ARE DIRTY, LOW DOWN, STUPID PEOPLE. I WENT TO THESE COUNTRYS ONCE ONLY BECAUSE THEIR BUSINESS PEOPLE ARE SO RUDE AND IGNORANT – STUPID PIGS. THEY ARE VERY GREEDY AND HATE EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD SO LET US LEAVE THEM ALONE. LIKE THEY SAY,, IF YOU PLAY WITH SHXT, YOU GET IT ON YOU; SO DO NOT BOTHER WITH THEM. THEY ARE NOT WORTH IT. BUY AMERICAN, BUY GERMAN, BUY GREAT BRITIAN, BUY FROM ANY COUNTRY AND NOT BELGIUM OR FRANCE. = = THE GOOD NON BUSINESS PEOPLE OF BELGIUM AND FRANCE NEEDS TO RISE UP AGAINST THE STUPID BUSINESSES AND BUSINESS PEOPLE IN THEIR COUNTRYS. THEY ALSO NEED TO QUIT BUYING OR ADVERTISING IN THESE NEWSPAPERS AND GIVING MONEY TO THESE STUPID PIGS. THE NORMAL EVERY DAY BELGIUM PERSON AND REGULAR WORKER IS NICE AND FRIENDLY AND I AM SURE THEY MUST ALSO BE UPSET WITH THE IDIOTS IN THEIR COUNTRY; BUT THEY NEED TO DO SOMETHING AND NOT JUST SIT ON THEIR BEHINDS. ONLY THE VILLAGE AND HARD WORKING FRENCH PEOPLE ARE NICE, THE OTHERS IN THE CITYS ARE RUDE PIGS. THE NICE FRENCH PEOPLE NEED TO ALSO PROTEST THE BUSINESS PIGS IN THEIR COUNTRY SO THE WORLD WILL KNOW THAT THERE ARE NICE PEOPLE IN FRANCE. = GOOGLE LIVES !! VIA LA GOOGLE !!.

zero says:

google bandwith ad link bulk sale

Google uses PC’s to get pageranks
Whilst doing so the links that are made are clogging the consumer as Google protests it’s innocence.We consumers are allocated bandwith for a price.google on the other hand uses our bandwidth for zero money outlay.The net will become ever more clogged unless corporates are reigned in from stealing bandwidth by stealth connections to the unwitting consumer.Who is wondering why on earth his 8mg is behaving like a V90 modem.Get a firewall and stop google from analysing you.This will cover 90% of your bandwidth troubles and leave you free to search Google at speed..zero

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