Belgian Newspapers Demand Google Pay $77 Million For All The Traffic Google Sent Them

from the of-all-the-ridiculous-lawsuits... dept

Back in 2006, we couldn't believe that a group of Belgian French-language newspapers could be so confused about how the internet works that they would sue Google for daring to send them more traffic. Of course, if the newspapers were so upset about Google sending them traffic, they could have taken rather easy (robots.txt) means of preventing the indexing -- something they finally did after someone explained to them how search engines work.

But, of course, that's not what it was really about. It's always been about the money. So, it should come as no surprise that the same group of Belgian newspapers is now demanding that Google pay them $77 million. Google should counter that these newspapers owe them every damn cent of ad revenue that was generated by anyone clicking through from Google to those newspaper sites -- plus an additional fee for being so kind as to "advertise" those newspapers websites to those who had never heard of them before.

Filed Under: belgium, copyright, newspapers, search engines
Companies: google

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  1. identicon
    EvilMessiah, 28 May 2008 @ 1:19pm

    There's precedent ...

    Google already pulled Copiepresse off the main index once. Copiepresse decided that was bad for business so they came crawling back to negotiate a deal. They should just do that again. Last I heard, Google was a business, not the free public entitlement that some people think it is. There's no reason at all why someone should be able to sue them for managing their business as they see fit. A poster on Ars Technica had a nice suggestion which I'll amend slightly.

    1. Settle with Copiepresse for $50,000,000.
    2. Ban them from the main index again.
    3. Charge Copiepresse $50,000,001 to get reindexed.

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