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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