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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Chris Maresca, 21 Sep 2006 @ 10:24am

    Not even linking to the court order...

    I just looked at the 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.


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.