At Least This Time, A Belgian Court Knows Not To Blame Google

from the sometimes-it-all-works-out dept

While Google has had some trouble with Belgian courts not understanding how the internet works, apparently they’ve at least convinced one judge not to blame Google for the way its software works. Last year, a software company sued Google in Belgium over its “Google Suggest” feature. That’s the tool that, as you type in your query, Google suggests other similar or related queries that users have also typed in. The idea is that it may help you choose a better query to answer your question. The problem was that for this particular software company, as you typed its name, the suggests were to add additional words that would point users to ways to crack the software to use it for free. However, the Belgian court noted, correctly, that this isn’t Google’s fault. Google shouldn’t be blamed for the fact that many of its users search for such cracks, and that that kind of information appears on the web. The court noted that there’s no reason to find Google liable for the information of others, and they also rejected the charge that this was somehow “false advertising” because the Google Suggest service has nothing to do with advertising. Always nice to see a reasonable decision come down on these types of issues.

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Comments on “At Least This Time, A Belgian Court Knows Not To Blame Google”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Their software is probably expensive. So the average person does not want to purchase it.
I for one have tried many a trial copy of software, fell in love with a few of the copies. Purchased a few that were reasonably priced. And, have downloaded cracks for others. For example, there is a DVD developer software package I fell in love with. Easy to use, did everything I wanted. Had a 30 day trial version, full version too, and decided this software was worth purchasing. Well, thinking I was going to take a $50-70 hit on my credit card, went to their website to purchase the license. To my surprice, the software was $300.00!
Next thing I do, start searching the web for a key code or crack. Had one in about 10 minutes, that worked.
So, I wanted the software, was willing to pay $70 for it, maybe a little more, but it was so overpriced, they lost a sale, but I still use the software. Rarely use it, but that’s the reason I didn’t want to pay so much for it.

undercast says:


I don’t use cracks. If something costs too much I do without or find some other solution. Often there is a free or cheap alternative that has most of the functionality I am looking for.

But I still think a lot of companies seriously hurt themselves with their pricing. They don’t understand that it is often much better to have a small piece of a large pie instead of a large piece of a small pie.

Prices that are too high reduce legitimate sale and use of a product. Most successful products in the IT industry have been cheap or free. One reason MS became successful was because at one time they provided their software at a very reasonable cost. MS only started raising prices on things like Word after they had driven off the competition and established monopolistic domination of the market.

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t think it’s fair for any consumer-oriented software to cost more than $150-200 at most, including the operating system, with the exception of maybe a super premium version. Honestly, if you really want to stop piracy, you need to stop being so greedy and sell your product for what it’s worth. Corporations deal with high end software, which obviously is going to cost a lot of money because of all the costs that go into developing it. But some companies overprice everything no matter what the product and who it’s aimed at, because all they really care about is squeezing every last dollar they can out of you.

Case in point is Adobe software. Adobe makes some very nice software, but it’s super mega expensive. I had a little project I was working on that needed an advanced image editor, so I downloaded a 30-day trial of Photoshop CS2, and it worked beautifully. I can honestly say I’ve never seen such powerful image manipulation software. But there’s no way I could ever hope to afford to buy the full version product. And the problem is, Adobe doesn’t have a scaled-down version for home use. Their freebie products aimed at average consumers are worthless. If they brought out a home user version of Photoshop for around the ballpark of $150, I might just be interested. But for $650, there’s no way it’s worth that to me. I probably only used, at best, 5% of the program’s capabilities for my project. I need something better than freebie crap, but I don’t need a full set of golf clubs for a mini golf course either.

It all comes down to whether the company really cares about what their customers need or want. If they don’t care, they’ll sell you crap at top dollar. If they do, they’ll work to give you a good product at a reasonable price, making everybody happy in the process.

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