Google To French Media: We May Have To Cut You Off

from the sacrebleu dept

If you’re like me, you may have thought that France was simply a repository for cheese-eating surrender-monkeys. It turns out that’s not true. They also have a wonderful court system that doesn’t want to understand the digital world. That same French court system also managed to make a complete mockery of HADOPI, all while hysterically referring to their actions as “justice”.

But French lawmakers now have a new target in their crosshairs: Google. Lawmakers are reportedly considering legislation that will force search engines to pay for sending French newspapers readers.

French newspaper publishers have been pushing for the law, saying it is unfair that Google receives advertising revenue from searches for news.

French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti also favours the idea.

This may be my favorite stance of all time. It’s unfair that Google, a search engine, receives revenue on searches, i.e. their business, and it should instead go to news organizations that are not in the business of search but still receive the traffic. I am sure there’s a word out there that properly describes the stupidity of this stance, but so far all the ones I’m coming up with involve the kind of language Mike keeps telling me I’m not allowed to use on Techdirt (which is [censored], by the way (oh, come on, really?)).

Google, because they don’t exist in the same non-logic-ungrateful-verse, and after apparently spending some time reading our comments section and picking up on some suggestions there, is now letting France know that if they go through with the law, they’ll simply exclude French media organizations from search results. In addition, in a letter to lawmakers, they added:

Google said such a law “would threaten its very existence”.

Google France had said earlier that the plan “would be harmful to the internet, internet users and news websites that benefit from substantial traffic” that comes via Google’s search engine. It said it redirected four billion clicks to French media pages each month.

Which leaves France with an interesting choice. Continue on with their proposed legislative silliness and forfeit all the traffic Google sends French newspapers via search results, or retreat from their position, thus proving my ignorant American stereotyping of them correct. Your move, France!

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Comments on “Google To French Media: We May Have To Cut You Off”

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188 Comments
fogbugzd (profile) says:

I wonder if they will charge other search engines lilke Bing or just big evil Google. Will it apply to news aggregaters or just ones associated with search? A lot of news sites are now also aggregaters to some extent. Will they have to pay other news organizations?

The French equivalent of “protect the children” is “protect French culture” so I would not be surprised to see search engines that are French companies getting special treatment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Lets see, the logic seems to be we are not getting enough readers on our web sites to make advertising pay so we will get the search engines to pay us for sending us readers. This proposal obviously has two possible outcomes, the search engines pay, or the search engines remove us from their results. With the first we make some money to keep our ailing business going, with the second we die that much quicker. Oh dear we appear to have attempted suicide by accident, so we will have to get the government to force the search engines to list us so that they owe us money.

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Re: Yes but...

How is Google deciding the life or death of any company? They are either sending traffic to a company or not. If the newspaper does not want the traffic they can modify their robots.txt file. It is not the search engine’s fault if the receiving company does not understand how to monitize the increased traffic.

The real question here is whether one company should be taxed to give a failing business a guaranteed revenue stream.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Yes but...

> There should definitely be some real competition
> on the search engine market.

Nobody is stopping you from starting up your own search engine.

Come up with whatever search algorithms you want. You even get to make your own policies to favor your own interests!

If people like your results better, they will flock to your search engine. Yes, they will. It happened before. Google was the upstart nobody. Why did it become successful? Because of its results. Just come up with better results and the world will beat a path to your door.

Christina says:

Wow, this is really offensive. Intermediary liability is a hotly-debated topic across the globe at the moment. Slinging nationalistic insults at the French just because their newspaper publishers are pushing an idea that pretty much all newspaper publishers everywhere would salivate at is pretty low. Because here’s my prediction: it’s highly unlikely this proposal will turn into law either in France or anywhere else. There are probably plenty of people in the newspaper business both in France and elsewhere that realise it probably wouldn’t really be in their best interests anyway. Either way however you’re still an ignorant asshat (and no, it’s not because you’re American – although it’s nice to see your stereotyping goes in multiple directions).

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

but it did, in Belgium. Then the Germans decided to hop on the Google only gets money by stealing it from us bandwagon.

Have you ever noticed how legacy industries biggest complaint seems to be, Google has more money than us make them give it to us?

They ignore the easy obvious self help available to them, robots.txt is honored by reputable search engines everywhere. This isn’t about unfair competition, this is completely about they have money and we deserve it for sitting on our asses complaining about them innovating.

As to the rest of it, Welcome to the Internet. If your butthurt persists for more than 4 hours… disconnect and flee your not ready for it.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You must be new.
I typo, my grammar sucks, and I often type words different than what they should be.
Dyslexia, its a hell of a thing.

I look forward to a day when I can be judged on the content of my message and not making sure I haven’t jumbled your and you’re. On the upside I rarely devolve into textspeak.

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I’m not trying to nail you to the wall here but, technically, these are not typos. This is, categorically, incorrect word usage. It’s not a jumble, it’s not a mere mistake, they are different words with different meanings. Knowing what you’ve intended after reading your sentence is much different than knowing what you’re reading as you’re reading it. Simply put this type of incorrect usage is harder to read.

I enjoy reading your posts nonetheless, however, the onus is on you to give a crap about the definitions of the words you choose. Yes?

As for this being marked insightful – that’s a pretty fucking far mark to mod something insightful for justifying laziness. Just saying.

Carry on.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I often say words out of order when speaking, and despite my best efforts I sometimes miss when I use the wrong word.
I am not consistent in my misuse of the words, and the substitutions often happen on words that “sound alike”. I am not always successful in parsing what I have typed for the 3rd or 4th time and will miss where I have used the wrong word or left in extra letters.

I’m sorry my condition does not meet with your approval.
I’m sorry the extra effort required for me to get the words in the correct order and spelled correctly isn’t enough for you to not consider me lazy.

I’m sorry you’ve missed me take the grammar and spelling nazis to task previously. This issue has come up several times, and some people insist that English must not be my primary language, its not… my primary language is LoLcat.

Dyslexic. It is something real, it is not just being lazy any more than a diabetic just needs to give a crap and not eat sugar.

If your more hung up on your and you’re in what I say I’m pretty sure your missing the message entirely.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

A typo, or typographical error, is any error in actual typeface. Use of the incorrect word due to relative spelling of the two words is still a ‘typo,’ regardless of whether or not the new word is legible. As stated, TAC is dyslexic, so typos within the posts are often overlooked.

You appear to be an educated person, but education does not confer anything beyond knowledge (and sometimes reasoning ability). In this case, education is not what you need so much as manners and forgiveness.

Sorry, had to answer to the childishness of your correction with another childish correction.

Christina says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yeah, you’re kinda ignoring my point – which was, just to reiterate, that none of this has anything to do with the French apparently being “cheese-eating surrender-monkeys”. And also that nationalism and prejudice is obnoxious and non-funny.

But, since you brought it up, how much cheese the French do or do not eat would have even less to do with jurisprudence in Belgium or proposed legislation in Germany, two entirely different legal jurisdictions.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

> Intermediary liability is a hotly-debated topic across the globe at the moment.

The only reason there is a debate at all is because stupid people cause a debate.

> Slinging nationalistic insults at the French just because
> their newspaper publishers are pushing an idea that
> […is stupid…] is pretty low.

No, it’s because I seem to recall the French trying to unfairly single out Google and otherwise disrupt the internet more so than other countries. It seems to be a fascination with the French.

Maybe its some residual jealousy about their old Minitel, or maybe being mad about not having the kind of control they had over Minitel.

> Because here’s my prediction: it’s highly unlikely this proposal
> will turn into law either in France or anywhere else.

You’re definitely wrong there. Stupidity is global. If not the French, someone is going to be the first. Maybe the US. Canada and others already tax on blank media as part of their protect the dinosaurs act. The US will probably do something equally stupid with a Think Of The Children Act of 2013.

And hey, if I can make fun of the US (where I live), then I darn sure can also poke fun at the French as well.

mark says:

In Germany they plan something similar but much more advanced.
Google would not only have to pay for linking to news-sites but also for linking to content that quotes or is similar to them. The biggest news site will probably begin starting to claim everything that contains keywords that also are present in their portfolio.
So Google can’t just ban newspapers, it would have to ban everything that has slight similarity to content from news publishers. Rely scary!

haploc (profile) says:

Belgian newspapers - Copiepresse

This very thing already happened in Belgium, last year.
The belgian newspapers from Copiepresse successfully sued Google and got a court order where Google had to remove all links from Google News, to newspaper articles on their sites. Google complied to the order, and removed those links… also from their search engine, as that was what the order said. After that the newspapers cried foul, and that Google retaliated.
History will repeat itself.

More info at: http://searchengineland.com/beligian-newspapers-claim-retaliation-by-google-after-copyright-victory-85924

Anonymous Coward says:

with France now joining the US in acts of total stupidity against Google, for simply doing what it is meant to do, ie, search the Internet for sites that have the information required, then direct searchers to those sites, i really think it’s about time Google thought seriously about where it needs to center it’s business. i am also quite sure that there are a hell of a lot of countries that would welcome Google with open arms if they moved there and a hell of a lot of industries/companies/businesses/individuals that would not have the success today had it not been to Google. if necessary, carry out the threat and close down the search results. let the media see what sort of drop they have in hits. will do the greedy arse holes the world of good!

John Doe says:

Redistribution of wealth?

This is the same attitude that is very prevalent in the US these days. If someone/some company is successful, we should take what they have and give it to those who are unsuccessful. Unfortunately, there is no way to get people who believe this way to think any other way. It is a deep seated emotional response for which there is apparently no escape.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Redistribution of wealth?

“This is the same attitude that is very prevalent in the US these days. If someone/some company is successful, we should take what they have and give it to those who are unsuccessful.”

Yo! What the HELL, man?!

That is only the most simplistic, moronic, and idiotic thought… Or basically the Tea Party/Koch Brothers/ETC…

Do you watch the NFL? Or Baseball?

Let’s use those two sports for this example…

In baseball, the richest teams (Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Giants) almost always make the post-season, barring some weird year. They have money to throw around to get the best talent and suck it away from everywhere else.

The NFL, on the other hand, sets salary caps for each team, it also takes revenue that has been earned from television advertising, fines, etc, and puts it into a giant (commie) pot at the end of the year, then it splits the money up evenly among the teams. Also, you know the NFL draft? The team that did the worst the year before gets to go first and the Super Bowl champion has to go last. (Punishing success).

And, yet… The NFL has the HIGHEST sports ratings… EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.

More people watch the Super Bowl than go to church for Christmas.

More people watch week 1 of the NFL season than game 7 of the World Series.

Say, you know Green Bay, the Packers? They’ve won, what? 4-5 Super Bowls in their history, and Green Bay isn’t that big of a city (less than 100 K people), and they have JUST as much chance of getting to the Super Bowl each year as the Dallas Cowboys do. (Heck, last year, they went 15-1 in the regular season).

Try looking at Baseball now, what chance do, oh, let’s say the Pittsburgh Pirates have to make the World Series?

yeah, thought so.

The NFL is the BEST example of redistribution of wealth.

It doesn’t take competition out of the mix. It merely gives everyone a fighting chance.

If you’re commenting on the article, this isn’t about redistribution of wealth, this is merely propping up an old business model that’s failing to adapt to a changing market.

Much different than what you’re talking about.

John Doe says:

Re: Re: Redistribution of wealth?

So sports monopolies are your best examples? Try again.

If you’re commenting on the article, this isn’t about redistribution of wealth, this is merely propping up an old business model that’s failing to adapt to a changing market.

Much different than what you’re talking about

No, this is exactly what I am talking about.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Redistribution of wealth?

Sports monopolies have nothing to do with the business world, huh?

You want to know WHY there’s such a huge talk about redistribution of wealth?

Because, for the past decade, all money has gone to the rich elite class, leaving much less for the middle and lower classes.

Oh, wait! That sounds like what happens in baseball, doesn’t it?

If there’s less concentration of money at the top in the hands of the wealthy elite few and bankers, then everyone has a chance for prosperity.

Oh, wait! That sounds like the NFL, doesn’t it?

So, yes, I DID address your point and what I used DOES have relevance.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Redistribution of wealth?

Because, for the past decade, all money has gone to the rich elite class, leaving much less for the middle and lower classes.

Citation needed. It is in the nature of economics that there could actually be more money for everyone at the same time, it’s not a zero sum game.

If there’s less concentration of money at the top in the hands of the wealthy elite few and bankers, then everyone has a chance for prosperity.

Citation needed. In fact all the evidence we have suggests that the opposite is true, greater income redistribution reduces economic mobility.

Don’t confuse the need to eliminate crony capitalism and regulatory capture with the need to redistribute wealth.

Sneeje (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Redistribution of wealth?

It isn’t about the government’s redistribution of wealth, but it is about the expectation of those impacted by competition and innovation that they get to share in the spoils of those that have succeeded in the market.

That is fairly similar to the concept of wealth redistribution. You can call it a tax, entitlement, stupidity, whatever, but it is still one party expecting that they share in benefits they had little to do with.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Redistribution of wealth?

“That is fairly similar to the concept of wealth redistribution. You can call it a tax, entitlement, stupidity, whatever, but it is still one party expecting that they share in benefits they had little to do with.”

So, basically the reason that the recession hit in the first place?

The richest got a large share of the benefits they had little to do with (wall street) and then when the crash happened, they got off almost scott-free while the rest of the country suffered.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Redistribution of wealth?

My point is, who are you pointing at when you go “wealth distribution”?

It’s historically accurate that when the poor and middle class do well, and a government can pull in revenues easily, a country/empire and an economy can flourish.

Look at Ancient Rome, if you don’t believe me.

When money was made up of cheap metals and other materials and freely distributed amongst the people, and the wealth of the land was shared by all, the Empire flourished.

However, when the coins changed over to gold and silver, the metals of the rich, and money flow was slowed to the middle and poor classes, and Rome didn’t pull in as much revenues to the government, the Empire started to fall apart.

Guess where the money concentration was at that time…

That’s right…

With the rich.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Redistribution of wealth?

Of course the Empire started to fall apart when it had less revenue. IT WAS AN EMPIRE. Governments that exist by the consent of the governed don’t need tributes to pay soldiers to keep the territories keeping up with their tribute payments…

Science almighty this is some asinine shit you’re masquerading as economics in this thread.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Redistribution of wealth?

The NFL is much like the Tea Party if you think about it.
People work REALLY hard doing dangerous things while rich guys sit around and complain about having to share the wealth. They try to hide the health hazards involved in the work and put as little as possible into a PR campagin to deal with the issue rather than real work.

John Doe says:

Re: Re: Re: Redistribution of wealth?

Not defending possible risks of the job, but those athletes are paid very well and like smoking, there is no reason for current athletes to not know the risks. Unlike smoking, they can quit anytime but they don’t seem to be doing that.

So again, the analogy is extremely flawed.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re: Redistribution of wealth?

“People work REALLY hard doing dangerous things while rich guys sit around and complain about having to share the wealth.”

Technically, everyone in the NFL is really rich.

Baseball’s more like the Tea Party than the NFL.

A few extremely rich teams and players make it, the rest flounder away.

Really, look at the Baseball playoffs for the past 10 years, for the most part, you’ll find 5 of the 8 teams the exact same year after year.

Look at Football, the playoff teams change almost year-to-year.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Redistribution of wealth?

Football is a spectator sport. It doesn’t follow that we should manage an economy the same way because an economy is not a spectator sport, it doesn’t exist for the people watching it it exists for the people participating in it. Your analogy flatly fails.

This article is absolutely about redistribution of wealth. Google has money and the French newspapers think they deserve some of it. It’s exactly the same as the ‘you didn’t build that’ mentality.

Anonymous Coward says:

I noticed that most of the comments from the media associations have shifted from “We are being harmed” to “We are providing value” – probably as a weak attempt to counter this very argument.

Seems to me the fact that Google is quite prepared to give up this “value” speaks volumes, both about the actual benefit google gets from any small subset of world media organizations and the dangerousness of setting a principle that linking to someone else entitles them to money.

Jeremy Turowetz (profile) says:

Bully attitude

“If you’re like me, you may have thought that France was simply a repository for cheese-eating surrender-monkeys.”

I think that crosses the line between a humorous quip and foredeeming mimicry. Regardless of my opinion, I feel ostracized when met with this style of dialogue.

Promoting stereotyping, like the wine drinking, snooty French one, is hurtful. I like to believe the Techdirt is a place where we fight intolerance and closedness with critical analysis, not condescending sarcasm (whether it’s ironic or not).

That it’s called what it is at the end of the article does little to assuage the feeling of being an outsider.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Bully attitude

Their government is crazy, but the people are awesome.

I think for the most part that would be true for just about every country, with few exceptions. For the most part, your average citizen, regardless of country will tend to be pretty nice, it’s the leaders and crazy laws of whatever country you’re in you’ve got to worry about.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Probably a little overboard for a first step. It’d work better as a counter-counter-counterattack.

Attack: French media says Google harmed them and owes them money.

Counterattack: Google disconnects French media. “We are no longer ‘harming’ French media.”

Counter-counterattack: French government says Google is now harming them even more and demands even more money.

Counter-counter-counterattack: Google disconnects France. “We are no longer ‘harming’ France.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Got my vote. France seems to object to all things Internet and Google, I say disappear France from the internet and regain some peace and quiet. I’m not generally some sort of bigot (except for certain technologies) but I’ll make an exception this time. And for every other country whose main response to the Internet equates to “Hey, where’s mine?”

bob (profile) says:

Just who is cutting whom off?

Sounds to me like the French media is cutting off Google. And if you want to talk about ungrateful, I think Google is the one that should be grateful for all of the content that it gets for free. But it isn’t. If they don’t get the information for free, they’re going to commit suicide. They just can’t go on living if they’re forced to share their billions with the people who make it possible.

And imagine that Google can’t imagine existing if it is forced to share with the people who do the hard work to fill the pages that sell Google’s ads. Awe. Magazines and newspapers have been paying the writers for years and selling ads. It’s easy to “innovate” and make several billion if you stick it to the writers. That’s not innovation, that’s highway robbery.

So go France. Thank goodness you have the guts to stand up to Google.

Rabbit80 says:

Re: Just who is cutting whom off?

So – the yellow pages should pay the companies it advertises because without them companies they would not have any content for their directory?? This is no different just because it is on the internet – that is all Google are doing is pointing people to the content they want – and making a tiny profit each time by attaching some unobtrusive adverts that are actually paid for.. It would be much fairer if the Media industries paid Google for generating them the traffic.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Just who is cutting whom off?

No they didn’t. They saw what happened in Belgium and want to make sure they can avoid that fate and get the cash too.

Magazine and newspapers can *GASP* still sell adspace on their websites. But as they are no longer the only game in town, this means prices come down as there is competition.

As Google isn’t scraping entire sites onto their own news site, and directs its users to the original place where the content is… maybe the failure is on the part of the legacy industry who refuses to adapt to a changing marketplace… I swear we’ve seen this before…

Beech says:

Re: Just who is cutting whom off?

Look, the French online media is based on the following business model.

Write news.
Put on internet with ads.
More hits means more revenue.

Google is taking eyeballs of people who are interested in reading news and guiding them to the media that’s there. It’s not robbery, its a mutually beneficial arrangement. As mentioned about a thousand times already, if they really didn’t want search engines linking to their stories they could modify robots.txt.

Analogy time! You’re talking about Google as if it’s some kind of leech, sucking off the lifeblood of poor journalists. More appropriately, the journalists are rhinoceroses and Google are those little birds that eat the parasites off. It’s not “parasitism” its “mutualism.” Rhinos get rid of pesky bloodsuckers FOR FREE. Birds get to eat FOR FREE. Both sides win without having to exchange promissory notes!

Ed C. says:

Re: Just who is cutting whom off?

Fine, if your content is so damn precious, then lock it up in a box where no one else can see it without your permission. And give copies to NO ONE. Then you might just figure out how precious your content really is.

[Or, if a blind fool falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a profit?]

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Just who is cutting whom off?

If they want to paywall content, then paywall content and kick out the crawlers from the fenced off area! In that way, they are getting the best of both worlds. Wanting money for linking to the site is a dream about many people wanting to go from free users to paying users. When it comes to, especially written, news I am just not convinced that the value added by the journalist will justify paying, when the value of free content is pretty good to begin with.

If I owned a newspaper I would focus the content a lot more than what we see today, make a deal with an e-book publisher and sell it as an e-newspaper. The homepage would only include headlines and appetizer and several kinds of ways for people to buy access to the content. Having to compete against world+dog will push “real” paid journalists to niche production anyway so might as well brace to take as little damage from the fall as possible.

Anyway. The value of said law would be very limited unless the people wanting it have special content to avoid the Belgium episode getting repeated.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Just who is cutting whom off?

“Sounds to me like the French media is cutting off Google.”

Yeah well, you’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so you’re lack of understanding of the situation is not surprising.

Google is cutting the French media off. End of story.

“And if you want to talk about ungrateful, I think Google is the one that should be grateful for all of the content that it gets for free.”

What you think and what the facts are are completely different. Google isn’t getting any content for free. Google is merely a search engine. If French articles appear in search results, and you click them, you go directly to the source. Whatever French media it happens to be. That’s it.

And if there are ads on the site, which utilize Google’s AdSense to be shown, Google makes a tiny profit.

“But it isn’t.”

Google has no reason to be, they don’t do anything beyond index the internet. Which includes EVERYTHING on the internet EVERYWHERE. Even French media stuff. GASP!

“If they don’t get the information for free, they’re going to commit suicide.”

What information? They’re not getting the news for free, they’re not showing the news to people for free, etc. They are just saying, “Hey, you searched for this. Here’s the relevant search results. Click on one, it’ll take you to where the information originated from.”

Also, sorry to have to be the one to break it to you bob, but Google isn’t going to commit suicide anytime soon. Google is growing every day and making a health profit to boot.

Again, you’re understanding of the article is completely ridiculous. French media was demanding Google pay them for listing them in search results. Google said, “You know what? No.” French media then threw a fit and is trying to have laws passed that will FORCE Google to have to pay them for being listed in their search results. To which Google responded with, “Oh yeah? Okay, well in that case we’re removing you entirely from all search results. But yeah, you’ve got us by the balls. [rolls eyes]”

“They just can’t go on living if they’re forced to share their billions with the people who make it possible.”

Google can very much go on living through this situation. What you and others fail to understand is that Google isn’t doing anything wrong, nor are they cheating French media out of money or stealing information from French media. They’re a search engine. That’s it.

Google is a company that is run well. That they make insane profits is commendable. The problem is, many floundering industries see Google’s profits and think to themselves, “Hey, wtf?! I want some of that! I deserve it for… who cares what for!” And they then go to Google with hands held out demanding a cut they haven’t earned and that they most assuredly DO NOT deserve.

“And imagine that Google can’t imagine existing if it is forced to share with the people who do the hard work to fill the pages that sell Google’s ads.”

Google can exist without people like the French media. If anything that’s proven by the fact that they are venturing out into things beyond ads. They went from being a search engine and only that to offering email services, online documents, file storage, cloud music storage, a mobile operating system, phones and tablets, etc.

They have plenty of other ways to make money.

But again, Google has no reason whatsoever to give money to others who aren’t doing anything. Writing news is great, but those people already get paid and already get revenue streams. Being indexed and listed on a search engine DOES NOT merit them deserving a cut of any of Google’s profits.

“Awe.”

What you mean is “aww”. But “Awe” is what I’m left feeling after reading your conspiracy filled diatribes. I am in awe that anyone can be so delusional and wrong. It boggles the mind.

“Magazines and newspapers have been paying the writers for years and selling ads.”

Your point being? Google sells ads. They don’t have writers, nor are they in the magazine and newspaper (traditional print media) business. As such, I fail to see how or why they would need to pay writers, much less writers for other companies.

“It’s easy to “innovate” and make several billion if you stick it to the writers.”

Mhm. At this point you’re coming off as desperately grasping at straws.

Google has innovated a great many things. Sticking it to writers isn’t one of them. Contrary to what you may believe.

I don’t know how many times I have to say it before you understand, but Google is NOT stealing news stories. It’s indexing them and directing traffic to the French media websites. Nothing more, nothing less. (Well until now. Now they’re not going to direct anything to them.)

“That’s not innovation, that’s highway robbery.”

That’s the sentence where you can’t possibly say anything more moronic and further from the truth of what’s going on than is possible.

“So go France. Thank goodness you have the guts to stand up to Google.”

I stand corrected. Sigh. I stand by one of my previous statements, for the sake of the genetic gene pool, DO NOT have kids. There’s already enough stupidity/ignorance in the world, we don’t need you tipping the scales and dooming mankind with any more of it.

ArkieGuy (profile) says:

Re: Just who is cutting whom off?

LOL…. So, you are saying that if People magazine runs an add for Vanity Fair, that People magazine will pay Vanity Fair. Apparently you are not up on how advertising works.

Besides, if Google were being “fair”, they would CHARGE for every search result provided (as it’s advertising for the resulting page). Instead they get other people to pay for the resulting pages advertising for them – pretty nice if you ask me.

Brent (profile) says:

πŸ™ this is the death of the internet. maybe it’s just me but i have a sense that all of these anti-Google/anti-piracy sentiments springing up around the globe are just a misdirection brought on by someone/some group scheming a much larger plan.

And i don’t think the fact that I’ve been listening to all of the Star Wars audiobooks for the past 2 months has anything to do with my thought process here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

they also basically created the legal system that is used in america and the world, judge is a french word so are many more..

yes, I forgot about the french revolution, but more imporantly every french person I have met have been very very nice.. and friendly, and helpful,

not so much when I want to America, but some people I met were great, alot of people in America originally came from europe and france.

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I don’t think anyone said Tim is one such person. What we said is that he said something that some of us find offensive. We’re not saying he should be fired, hung, thrown in jail, marooned, the subject of widespread opprobrium. Just that he said something offensive. What’s wrong with saying “Oops, this was meant as a joke and I didn’t mean to offend you guys. I’ll try to watch out in the future.”

Beech says:

pandora problem

Just like i’ve been saying about Pandora. Time for French Google partners

1) Cut off French newspapers from results
2) Find individual French newspapers that would be willing to waive the fee in return for Google’s traffic: only provide search results from those papers.
3) Google wins because they still have French language news. French papers win because they get traffic they may not have received otherwise. The rest of the french papers win because they got what they asked for.

Anonymous Coward says:

Google’s numbers don’t really add up, unless they are considering traffic from outside of France.

4 billion searches, 65 million citizen… that suggests each man, woman, and child makes 2 news searches per day that are sent to French media.

That would also suggest that French media sites are incredibly popular, as Google search generally wouldn’t be even half their business. So they are suggesting that french media sites get 266,666,666 visits per day (30 days, with 8 billion total visits, half from Google, half from other sources and direct type in).

So how many French media sites are there? 10? 100? Even at 100 real media sites, they would be talking about 2.6 million visits per day per site.

It would suggest that French media websites would certainly be among the top 1000 or so websites on the planet.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Google’s numbers don’t really add up, unless they are considering traffic from outside of France.”

Why not?

“4 billion searches, 65 million citizen… that suggests each man, woman, and child makes 2 news searches per day that are sent to French media.”

Not particularly unlikely. You do realise that France has its own pop stars, TV shows, movies, etc. that would generate heavy traffic for local sites, right? A few hundred thousand bored people looking for French pop culture information at the weekend would skew your figures quite a way, even if it’s only looking at celebrity news or TV listings.

“So how many French media sites are there? 10? 100? Even at 100 real media sites, they would be talking about 2.6 million visits per day per site.”

You may need to adjust by an exponential factor to work out how many there are. Do you honestly think that a country of over 60 million people with a long-lived and vibrant artistic culture would only support 100 media sites?

“It would suggest that French media websites would certainly be among the top 1000 or so websites on the planet.”

You may also need to consider language differences. According to Wikipedia, French is only the 18th most spoken language in the world. Therefore, a site that ranks among the most popular sites in France may not register among the most popular in the world.

Now, if you’re in France and do a search in French, which country’s media site do you think you’ll get sent to? Those are the searches that would be affected, and the affect may be very damaging.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“You may need to adjust by an exponential factor to work out how many there are. Do you honestly think that a country of over 60 million people with a long-lived and vibrant artistic culture would only support 100 media sites?”

100 news media sites? Not music media, not movie media… news media.

Consider New York: 1/6 of the population, and how many real media outlets (tv, radio, newspaper)? It’s a smaller number than you might think.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Certain still well over 100. You have to consider what you are looking at. News media OUTLETS. This means each and every individual newspaper, magazine, newsletter, TV or radio station that transmits news in some way shape or form. My little city of Toledo, OH (population 287,208) has 41 news media outlets available to it. That’s only including 4 major newspapers, and there are so many tiny local ones that still qualify and even have websites of their own. If we have that many, how many does NYC (population 8,244,910) have? Find that out and multiply it for a country of 60,000,000.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Ah, I forgot to adjust for AC logic. Not only do I have to use the specific definition of “media” you had in your head (but didn’t write, of course), I have to adjust for what you class as a “real” media outlet – something that can handily be used to make your figure “correct” no matter what sources I cite.

Sorry for that, your assumptions based on an extrapolation of a single city in a foreign country is bound to be far more accurate.

Anonymous Coward says:

I woner if google has worked out that Google needs business to survive, but business does not need google.

If google stops making searches available (their CORE BUSINESS), because they dont want to pay for their news service (NON-core business) then they will lose business, and lose money, shareholders will not like that..

Google has to realise it is not a market maker, but an advertiser, if they want more hits by posting comment, or material that others have created, they like everyone else needs to compensate for the content.

who uses google anymore anyway ?? it really is not that good.. far better alternatives available.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

ferarri is better that hyundi, Beta is better than VHS, Beta is still in studio use, and has always been.. They both exist, so do more than one type of car, even though some are better than others.

what is your point,, it’s not a winner take all world.. not even close.

so VHS did not win any contest, they were just some players in a continuous, ongoing game.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“I woner if google has worked out that Google needs business to survive, but business does not need google.”

Google and the businesses need each other, but there are plenty of other businesses out there. Meanwhile, French media just lost a source that directed traffic to them.

In this day and age, if you can’t be found/searched for on Google you’re losing out on potential clientele. Period.

“If google stops making searches available (their CORE BUSINESS), because they dont want to pay for their news service (NON-core business) then they will lose business, and lose money, shareholders will not like that.. “

Google isn’t going to stop making searches available. They’re continuing with their search engine. However, in this case, they just told French media to take a long walk off a short peer.

They’re cutting off French media, who were demanding a cut of profits they weren’t entitled to.

Google’s business meanwhile will continue to thrive and grow, as is evident to all with any business sense.

As for “their news service”, what news service? Google isn’t in the news business.

As it relates to the article and all this, Google was indexing the web, of which French media is a part of, and listing them in relevant search results. French media was aware of this, they then decided they deserve a cut of Google’s profits JUST for being listed in search results.

“Google has to realise it is not a market maker, but an advertiser, if they want more hits by posting comment, or material that others have created, they like everyone else needs to compensate for the content.”

On this I semi-agree. They aren’t a market maker. But they are an innovator and they damn well are good at seeing where the markets are growing and in need of change, and they utilize their resources to then step in with products and services people want.

They started as an advertiser, but that’s not where they’ll finish.

As for “more hits”, Google isn’t posting the material of others. How is this so hard to understand? They just index and list what’s out there, when used by people like you and me to do so. Nothing more, nothing less. So why should they have to pay others for showing up in search results? It makes no sense. At least to anyone with a brain.

“who uses google anymore anyway ?? it really is not that good.. far better alternatives available.”

Only everyone. Hence the expression, “Google it.”

As for the rest of your sentence, that’s purely subjective. A great many people find Google to be beyond useful and a superior alternative to other search engines. If they weren’t that good they wouldn’t be where they are now.

Although there are other alternatives, whether they are “far better” is debatable. To each their own.

Seriously though, try and at least completely understand the situation before you go off making claims that are untrue. Otherwise you’re going to end up like bob up above. Seeing Google orchestrated conspiracies and thievery everywhere.

Laroquod (profile) says:

The problem with the whole ‘cheese eating surrender monkey’ is not that its offensive, it’s that it dragged an irrelevant cultural battle into the issue, thereby derailing all the commentary (even winning the top ‘blessed’ spot below the article) and entirely blunting the effectiveness of the article in highlighting its point.

Want to be an effective writer? Don’t do this sort of thing. I am not offended, just unimpressed.

AJBarnes says:

Turn about is fair play

How about the newspapers giving Google a kickback for the 4 Billion views they get from Goolge driving viewers to their sites? I would be astonished if there were not some sort of advertising on those French sites.

And the article reminded me of a story I heard. My friend said he saw a WWII French Rifle on eBay… never fired, dropped twice.

Chris Brand says:

Think of the children

As a parent, this sort of thing reminds me of how you can educate kids – let them go ahead and make mistakes. “You want to go outside without a jacket when it’s cold ? Ok, go ahead”.

“You don’t want the traffic Google sends you ? Ok, let’s see how that works out for you”.

It really is an education thing – old media just needs a quick lesson in “who’s providing how much value to whom”.

Personally, I hope Google withholds traffic until the old media companies come back offering to pay Google to get back the traffic.

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