Google Removes News Snippets From Complaining Publications In Germany; Publications Claim It's 'Blackmail'

from the let's-see-how-that-goes dept

Earlier this year, we noted a somewhat ridiculous and cynical attempt by some German newspapers to demand payment from Google for sending them traffic via Google News -- and not just a little bit, but 11% of gross worldwide revenue on any search that showed one of their snippets. There were a few issues that we noted here: first, anyone not wanting to appear in Google News can quite easily opt-out. Second, Google News in Germany doesn't show any ads. Third, those very same newspapers were using Google's own tools to appear higher in search, suggesting that they certainly believed they were getting value out of being in Google's index.

While German regulators rejected this request from the news publication industry group VG Media, Google has now decided to remove all news snippets from VG Media publications. It will still display results from those publications, but only in pure link/title format. Google claims it's doing this to "remove [the] legal risks" from ongoing legal action from VG Media, but it seems equally likely that this will also decrease the traffic to those publishers' websites.

As we've discussed in the past, years back under similar circumstances in Belgium, Google simply removed the complaining publications from its index, only to have those publications freak out and beg to be let back in, exposing the hypocrisy of those publishers, insisting that what Google was doing was somehow unfair.

Indeed, almost immediately, VG Media shot back that this is a form of "blackmail." According to David Meyer at GigaOm:
"Google is discriminating in that they do not show snippets and thumbnails for publishers that made a claim, but they still show snippets and thumbnails from other publishers," he said. "They're trying to [apply] economic pressure."
So... showing the snippets without payment is unfair and infringing. And, not showing the snippets is unfair and blackmail. Someone want to explain how any of this makes any sense other than that it's just petty corporate jealousy that Google has made a lot of money and those publishers want some of it for nothing?

VG Media's spokesperson seems to honestly think that there's some sort of moral requirement for Google to both pay for and show snippets. Again from Meyer:
The spokesman said VG Media was still in talks with the regulator about the case, and would add a complaint about this latest move. But how does this move harm consumers? I asked him. “Because they won’t have quality content in the future” if Google doesn’t pay for the snippets it uses, he claimed.

But surely Google actually helps publishers by sending traffic their way — do the publishers really believe that anyone sees a sentence-or-two-long snippet in Google News and then goes “Eh, that’s enough, I don’t need to click through”?
It's difficult to see how this is anything other than "We failed to develop our own business model, so the company that did ought to just give us money."

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 2 Oct 2014 @ 2:04pm

    'They gave us what we asked for, not what we wanted!'

    Like a bottle of finely aged whine, they got the result their demands suggested they wanted(for Google to stop providing snippets from their sites without paying), which, surprise surprise, wasn't even remotely close to what they actually wanted, which was to force Google to give them money and increased traffic to their sites, and now they're crying like spoiled brats about it.

    "Google is discriminating in that they do not show snippets and thumbnails for publishers that made a claim, but they still show snippets and thumbnails from other publishers," he said. "They're trying to [apply] economic pressure."

    Uh, no you thick headed parasite, they continue to show snippets and thumbnails by those that haven't tried to shake Google down because those others have shown that they have no problem with Google doing so, whereas your lot threatened legal action, indicating that you didn't want Google to show snippets and thumbnails of your stuff unless they paid for the 'privilege' of doing so.

    Google decided they didn't want to pay, and so removed the 'offending' extras according to your stated wishes. Congrats, you got what you demanded, just not what you wanted.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2014 @ 2:42pm

    Control

    It is simple really, they want total control of their 'property'. I recommend electrified fences, with motion detectors, bright lights and dobermans.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jakerome (profile), 2 Oct 2014 @ 2:47pm

    Brilliant stupidity

    Publishers have the option of excluding their articles from Google News. But they do not want to exclude. Rather the publishers want Google to pay them to include the articles. Google does not want to pay, so includes only a link to the article instead of a snippet. Publishers that do not demand compensation have snippets in the news articles. All seems well.

    But now, the publishers claim that Google is "discriminating" against the publishers demanding payment because the snippets are not shown. Yup, damn straight they are. They're only including snippets when they can do so without incurring additional cost. What sense of entitlement these publishers must have to demand that Google present its search results in ways the publishers prescribe and compensate the publishers for the privilege of doing so. The sad part is, the German government is so obsessed and blinded with anti-Google fury that the German leaders seem ready to force Google to present only state-approved search results while paying legacy, non-adapting corporations for collecting free traffic while failing to innovate.

    It's beyond stupid. I read articles like this and can only conclude that German legacy publishers have essentially given up and now are enlisting the power of the state to support their failed, legacy business model at the expense of German's own citizens and their own freedom to search. Maddening. It is jolly to read so many articles produced by legacy publishers repeat the contradictions of their lobbyists whilst never pointing them out. That must be its own special kind of torture.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 2 Oct 2014 @ 2:52pm

      Re: Brilliant stupidity

      In this case at least the courts didn't side with VG Media(and in fact they straight up rejected the request for arbitration in the matter), but you can be sure that after this they'll be going straight back to the judges, whining about how this 'proves' that Google is abusing it's position and needs to be forced to pay them.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2014 @ 3:16pm

      Re: Brilliant stupidity

      It's kinda like how T.V. networks demand money to be placed on cable T.V. channels or how broadcasters must pay royalties to broadcast a song. It should be the other way around (and in fact it was at one time, at least when it comes to broadcasters) but, through manipulation of the legal system it got flipped.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2014 @ 2:48pm

    Dear [Company],
    We are under no obligation to help your business.
    Sincerely,
    Google (Not 'The Internet')

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2014 @ 2:51pm

    serves 'em right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Maxwell (profile), 2 Oct 2014 @ 2:59pm

    Chicken and egg problem

    What came first ? Web sites or search engines ?

    Regardless of the answer, This is a failiure to recognize the symbiotic relationship between web sites and search engines. Traffic is not something that is "due" to web sites out of the blue. You have to work for it. Search engines are but one tool in this regard.

    What if google charged for being listed at all ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Applesauce, 2 Oct 2014 @ 3:13pm

    If I had a hammer

    If I had a hammer and I sell it to you, and you then start making money building houses and selling them, then obviously I'm entitled to a proper share of your profits.

    It's only fair, right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    connermac725 (profile), 2 Oct 2014 @ 3:31pm

    German Logic

    O wait there is non in VG MEDIA

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bill Silverstein (profile), 2 Oct 2014 @ 3:32pm

    Just delist them.

    They don't want Google showing the snippets, just have Google delist them.

    If I were Google, I would have delisted them and send them an e-mail that says,

    "You like apples? You are delisted! How do you like them apples?"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2014 @ 3:57pm

    Someone should tell those German publications that the only solution to this problem is stop suing Google to obtain such a large percentage of their advertising revenue.

    Come to think of it, I seem to recall some European publications demanding a large portion of Google's advertising revenue because Google included snippets of news articles. When Google threatened to remove their listings from the search engines, those same European organizations retracted their demands and their lawsuits.

    These European media organizations are idiots. They file lawsuits, demanding large portions of Google's revenue and then Google threatens to delist them on their search engine, they turn around and complain.

    YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. Either sue Google and be delisted from the search engine, or retract your lawsuits and continue to enjoy the traffic to your websites.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:32am

      Re:

      Come to think of it, I seem to recall some European publications demanding a large portion of Google's advertising revenue because Google included snippets of news articles.

      You mean this, from the article you may or may not have read? ;-)

      "As we've discussed in the past, years back under similar circumstances in Belgium, Google simply removed the complaining publications from its index, only to have those publications freak out and beg to be let back in, exposing the hypocrisy of those publishers, insisting that what Google was doing was somehow unfair."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2014 @ 4:42pm

    They were demanding payment for snippets and threatening court action. Google has addressed their concerns and is no longer facing court action for those snippets.

    Google has taken the precise action demanded. Now VG Media has no actionable demand. They wanted free money. They got their snippets removed. I'd say that was fair and square not to mention being legal.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2014 @ 5:21pm

    Oh boy oh boy

    Maybe those nutters from France are next to disappear from Google. One can only hope.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2014 @ 5:29pm

    Oh, Whatever and antidirt aren't going to like this. I can hear them grinding teeth from here!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 2 Oct 2014 @ 8:17pm

    I personally think it's more like Google making a basic mistake and declaring loudly:

    ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!

    They are in the process of proving that they have enough of an impact on others business that they need to be dealt with as a near monopoly.

    It would be really interesting to see some of the spiteful actions that have made their way into the Google algos over time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Drawoc Suomynona (profile), 2 Oct 2014 @ 8:42pm

      Re:

      I agree. In this context it seems like a fitting response to turn off the spigot. But in the context of a monopoly or near monopoly, Google throwing its weight around and punishing anyone who dares suggest they pay for some form of content might not be such a good idea.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 7:08am

        Re: Re:

        You, and them, are trying to have it both ways.

        The newspapers threatened legal action for Google using snippets from their online articles alongside links to those articles, claiming that it was wrong for Google to do so and not pay for the privilege.

        Google decided that they didn't want to pay, and dropped the snippets, leaving only the links.

        Now the papers are throwing a fit because what they actually wanted was Google to pay for the 'privilege' of driving more traffic their way.

        Marketshare has nothing to do with it, the newspapers complained about an aspect of Google's business(including excerpts from the linked article), Google took steps to 'solve' the problem by doing the logical thing based upon the demands of the newspapers(removing those excerpts), and now the newspapers are showing what they really wanted by throwing a fit over Google's decision to not just fold and pay them.

        If the matter was really about how they were mad Google was using the excerpts without payment, well, Google removed those excerpts, they should be glad, no more 'infringement'. The fact that they are still complaining just shows their money-grab for what it is.

        As noted in the article:

        So... showing the snippets without payment is unfair and infringing. And, not showing the snippets is unfair and blackmail. Someone want to explain how any of this makes any sense other than that it's just petty corporate jealousy that Google has made a lot of money and those publishers want some of it for nothing?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 2 Oct 2014 @ 9:43pm

      Re:

      Dealt with for what? For sending the publishers FREE traffic they can (fail to) monetize on their pages?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 2:20am

        Re: Re:

        Dealt with for what? For sending the publishers FREE traffic they can (fail to) monetize on their pages?

        It's never that simple.

        Google has worked very hard to become the main (and nearly one and only) web middleman. They are in many ways not in a very different position of what Microsoft was in with IE a number of years ago. They were not the only player, but they had an effective monopoly.

        Google is such a high percentage of the search business, and they use all of their other products (including news) to drive more users to their search. Google search on non-apple mobile devices is a near lock on the market.

        The problem here is that Google doesn't just send free traffic. It also builds pages which can take traffic away, allowing users to browse headlines without having to visit pages.

        As an example, top of Google news for me is:

        "American cameraman for NBC News diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia
        Reuters Africa - ‎2 hours ago‎
        By Steve Gorman. LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola, the network said on Thursday, making him the fifth citizen of the United States and its first journalist known to "

        I don't really have to go any further, I am informed. The nature of the news world is to put a big chunk of the basics of the story into the first paragraph. So the part of the story that Google quotes generally tells you a whole bunch about the story. I don't have to go to the news site in question unless I really want to know more. Essentially, the news site informed me without getting the reciprocal right to show me other options, pages, lines, and the line. Google retained that right.

        Just as importantly, the search box on the top of the page goes to generic, paying search results.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 3:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Publication could put their news up behind a paywall if they don't want their news snippets circulating around the internet. Publishers could also opt-out of allowing Google crawlers to index their website, using the Robot Exclusion Standard (robots.txt).

          I agree with you about Google dominating the search landscape. Which is setting up a central point of censorship that governments and businesses around the world are attacking.

          Google's search results continue to diminished over time, and Google is becoming a large target for the 'I know best' crowds' legal challenges (right to be forgotten).

          I agree we need more search engines. Especially ones that can withstand censorship. Which will require decentralization. Maybe once Google's patents expire someone will build a decentralized Google.

          Just kidd'n! You can't use a patent application to actually build anything. Patents are useless for helping to build innovation.

          There's a reason Google is the most popular search engine. They have the best search algorithms and rankings. It's too bad court orders are forcing Google to modify and censor their algorithms more and more.

          Hopefully a new search engine comes along and indexes the sites Google is forbidden by court order to display. I remember a few years ago when it seemed like I could find anything I was looking for on Google. Those days are gone.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 3:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I don't really have to go any further, I am informed."

          Very badly, by a version of facts taken from a parallel universe it seems. But, that's no surprise coming from you. It's like seeing you flail around with your nonsensical attacks on Netflix - there's very little substance, and half of what you're working with is the opposite of reality.

          "Google has worked very hard to become the main (and nearly one and only) web middleman"

          They're far from the only one by a long shot, and being a market leader isn't a problem if that position isn't abused. Refusing to offer a free service to someone intent on suing you for doing so is not an abuse of power. If you mean that they're successful enough that it's where most of the consumers the papers are trying to attract go to search for them, then fair enough. But, they got there by offering a superior service, nothing more.

          "They are in many ways not in a very different position of what Microsoft was in with IE a number of years ago."

          Bullshit. Quite apart from the fact that MS did indeed illegally leverage a monopoly position in a different market to get there, there's no such lock-in. Any consumer and any advertiser is free to move, and move quite easily. In fact, the papers themselves can opt out of Google's service completely with a single trivial action. Why don't they do this? Could it be perhaps because they're actually getting a lot of traffic from them, even if they think they should have more?

          Not much of a monopoly if you're free to deny their service (which they offer for free anyway). You just can't have it both ways - deny them if you don't want the traffic they send, or accept the free traffic. Whining that you somehow should have more than the extra they're already giving you for nothing isn't a convincing argument,.

          "They were not the only player, but they had an effective monopoly."

          For a great many reasons that don't apply in any way to Google's business. False equivalence may be easy, but it means you're dealing with fictions again.

          "I don't have to go to the news site in question unless I really want to know more."

          So... same as every other search function on Google? Are you really claiming that millions more would click through if only there wasn't a short summary, or are you simply a shareholder in some clickbait scam that depends on misleading headlines for traffic?

          "making him the fifth citizen of the United States and its first journalist known to"

          The first journalist know to.... what? I can't see that from the snippet. Now, from the context, it might be easy to guess that they mean the first journalist to contract Ebola - but does that mean ever? The first in Liberia? Is he simply the first US journalist, or have there been other journalists of other nationalities? If I was really interested in the article, I'd click through.

          Otherwise, does that snippet really give so much information that you can't tell from the headline alone? Not really. This argument only support bad journalists who have nothing pertinent to say beyond the headline, or whose business depends on tricking people to read articles they're otherwise skip. Some people also only watch the headlines on the hour on a news channel before turning over. That doesn't mean the remote control manufacturer is losing them revenue.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 4:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Google has worked very hard to become the main (and nearly one and only) web middleman.

          And because they did a good job with their hard work they should support failed models? And it's barely the only one. There's Bing, YaCy, Yahoo, Webcrawler and many, many others.

          They are in many ways not in a very different position of what Microsoft was in with IE a number of years ago.

          And it took somebody doing a slightly better job and BOOM IE is virtually dead.

          Google is such a high percentage of the search business, and they use all of their other products (including news) to drive more users to their search. Google search on non-apple mobile devices is a near lock on the market.

          The high piece of the pie they own is because they offer a good service. Simple as that. As for the "non-apple devices" you can easily use any other engine on an Android. I wonder if you ever used oneor just made up what you said as you often do.

          I don't really have to go any further, I am informed.

          That's why you spew so much bullshit. Reading the article can lead to very different conclusions sometimes. And that's where the news outfits are failing: they usually just parrot news without adding any value to it. See techdirt. They provide news with comprehensive analysis of the situation with proper source provisions. Techdirt is not perfect and may err but it adds value. Maybe that's why I actually pay for td (even if it's free) and not for other newspapers (truth be said there are some that I would chip a few bucks but I don't have this option unless I want an overpriced subscription).

          Seriously, if Google vanished tomorrow they'd just focus whatever search engine they could without looking at their own problems. Just like your bosses at the MAFIAA. "But, but... PIRACY!"

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 4:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          This coming from the guy who once claimed that North Korea executes people if they don't have a standard issue haircut.

          If snippets are all it takes for you to read things - oh, wait, that's right. You don't read articles. You just look at a headline and conveniently take the opposite position so you can look like an ass.

          What a sad little creature you are, bobmail.

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        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Reading a headline counts as being informed??

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          • identicon
            Baron von Robber, 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That would be the depth of Whatever's capacity.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Reading a headline counts as being informed??

            I don't mean informed like "in depth, endless knowledge" but pretty much I got the gist of the story and unless it interests me further, I am not clicking to the site. There is enough on the Google site to make it possible to have a skimming knowledge of the days events without ever visiting another site.

            I guess when you read a newspaper, you read every word of every story including the disclaims on the ads, right?

            The point is you can be informed enough without leaving the Google page, which means the newspapers / news site don't get the benefit of the reader, Google does.

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            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "I guess when you read a newspaper, you read every word of every story including the disclaims on the ads, right"

              Of course not, but if all I've read is the headline or the first paragraph, I don't consider myself informed at all about whatever the topic of the story is.

              "The point is you can be informed enough without leaving the Google page"

              I strongly disagree with this point.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:21pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I guess when you read a newspaper, you read every word of every story including the disclaims on the ads, right?

              Are you high? Ads? So if you don't skim a newspaper, your only other alternative is to read shit no one reads too? That's your argument, bobmail?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Just Another Anonymous Troll, 3 Oct 2014 @ 7:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Google has worked very hard to become the main (and nearly one and only) web middleman. They are in many ways not in a very different position of what Microsoft was in with IE a number of years ago. They were not the only player, but they had an effective monopoly."
          Except for Bing. Or Yahoo. Or Ask. If people use Google because they like it better, then Google is being successful. That's the very essence of capitalism, make a better product then everyone else so people use yours.
          "I don't really have to go any further, I am informed. The nature of the news world is to put a big chunk of the basics of the story into the first paragraph. So the part of the story that Google quotes generally tells you a whole bunch about the story. I don't have to go to the news site in question unless I really want to know more. Essentially, the news site informed me without getting the reciprocal right to show me other options, pages, lines, and the line. Google retained that right."
          Here's a question that will blow your troll mind: Would you have seen that article if it wasn't on Google News? If you're not going to see an article unless it shows up on the Google, then any traffic complaints are null and void. They wouldn't have received that traffic anyway even if Google 'stole' it from them. Also, just the first paragraph might tell you what the article is about, but you can't know the whole story unless you read the article. Google's use of snippets helps you determine what you might be interested in reading, which in turn can help funnel traffic to those news sites.
          In conclusion, news organizations should choose between being on Google or not being on Google. Google shouldn't have to pay you to help you get traffic. Don't bite the hand that feeds (directs traffic to) you.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Except for Bing. Or Yahoo. Or Ask. If people use Google because they like it better, then Google is being successful. That's the very essence of capitalism, make a better product then everyone else so people use yours.

            Okay. Explain to me how to remove the Google search from an Android phone and replace it with a yahoo search - without rooting the phone.

            Explain to me how to stop Firefox from sending my incomplete typins to Google as searches (so they can get paid).

            Explain to me how I can surf the web without getting buried under targeted and semi-targeted ads from Google based on the my searches on their search engine - without having to disable other products.

            You can't easily do any of those things - and the default action certainly is monopolistic.

            Here's a question that will blow your troll mind: Would you have seen that article if it wasn't on Google News?

            No, and that isn't the point. If I had seen ONLY the headline on Google news, I may have clicked the link and visited the site. Because Google conveniently provided me enough of the opening paragraph to explain the story, I have much less need to go there. I was actually trying to find a study from many years ago about how people read newspapers, and generally it was they read the headline, and if interested, the first paragraph. Most didn't go past that point. Google appears to be showing just enough to make a visit to the source less likely.

            For what it's worth, I am not a regular Google news user, I find their attempts to personalize the news doesn't work well for me. So I tend to do the rounds of my usual news sources, rumor sites, and the like... without worrying about what Goog has decided is relevant to me.

            news organizations should choose between being on Google or not being on Google.

            I think that there is a third space here, which is potentially Google needs to allow for news sites to have a feed that Google can read where the news source can decide how much of the story is shown, what stories they want to show, and so on. Google's "our way or the highway" mentality on things is really painful considering their near monopoly position as a traffic source. That is where my initial point comes in, with them being that near monopoly, it's hard for anyone to stand up to them on any level, because Google can just turn off the tap and end their online business overnight.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              nasch (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Explain to me how to remove the Google search from an Android phone and replace it with a yahoo search - without rooting the phone.

              If you don't want to use Google products, clearly Android is the wrong platform for you. Use a different kind of smartphone.

              Explain to me how to stop Firefox from sending my incomplete typins to Google as searches (so they can get paid).

              Don't use Firefox.

              Explain to me how I can surf the web without getting buried under targeted and semi-targeted ads from Google based on the my searches on their search engine - without having to disable other products.

              Don't visit any Google products.

              Is this really that hard?

              No, and that isn't the point. If I had seen ONLY the headline on Google news, I may have clicked the link and visited the site. Because Google conveniently provided me enough of the opening paragraph to explain the story, I have much less need to go there.

              I don't know how willing to negotiate Google is other than by lawsuit, but clearly these German newspapers were able to get the snippets removed, yet that turned out to be not what they really wanted. Why do you think that is? If they agreed with your position, they would be thrilled that now Google is only listing their headlines.

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              • icon
                Whatever (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:44am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                If you don't want to use Google products, clearly Android is the wrong platform for you. Use a different kind of smartphone.

                They are the largest player, and the only viable current alternative to Apple. I am unable to avoid this duopoly and still have a smart phone.

                Don't use Firefox.

                There are only a handful of viable browsers, IE is not an option for anyone wanting a secure PC. So Firefox and Chrome are the two biggies after that. Boom, welcome to near monopoly land!

                Don't visit any Google products.

                Since Google also farms info from the type of sites you visit that have their ads, search, analytics, and other products on them, it is all but impossible to avoid this monopoly.

                Thanks for helping make my points for me!

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                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:09pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  They are the largest player, and the only viable current alternative to Apple.

                  Windows isn't viable?

                  There are only a handful of viable browsers

                  How many do you need?

                  https://www.google.com/search?q=windows+browsers

                  Since Google also farms info from the type of sites you visit that have their ads, search, analytics, and other products on them, it is all but impossible to avoid this monopoly.

                  Adblock. Ghostery. Etc.

                  Thanks for helping make my points for me!

                  In some fantasy universe maybe that is what happened.

                  I'm sure your response will be "but I don't like any of those alternatives either." Guess what? You don't get to decide how the universe is. Everything has advantages and disadvantages, and you have to choose what disadvantages you want to live with. Pointing out that every other choice has disadvantages is nothing more than a perfect solution fallacy.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  CrushU, 8 Oct 2014 @ 10:52am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  ... avoid this duopoly... ...near monopoly land! ...avoid this monopoly.

                  You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Gwiz (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Okay. Explain to me how to remove the Google search from an Android phone and replace it with a yahoo search - without rooting the phone.

              Install the "Yahoo Search" app from GooglePlay and use that instead. Not difficult.


              Explain to me how to stop Firefox from sending my incomplete typins to Google as searches (so they can get paid).

              This one is also simple. Firefox uses the topmost search engine in the "Manage Search Engines" dialog.

              I removed all and replaced with my local YaCy Search url. My mistyped urls don't get sent anywhere except to my computer.


              Explain to me how I can surf the web without getting buried under targeted and semi-targeted ads from Google based on the my searches on their search engine - without having to disable other products.

              Don't login to Google when you search. I only login into Google for Gmail and then I make sure to logout when done. That definitely helps. I rarely get targeted ads.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:03am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Explain to me how I can surf the web without getting buried under targeted and semi-targeted ads from Google based on the my searches on their search engine - without having to disable other products.

                Use a different search engine, and install an add blocker.
                Given the level of knowledge on how to use a browser and the net in your post I will must also inform you that that bookmarks allow you to return to a site without typing their name into a search engine.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Gwiz (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:10am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Use a different search engine, and install an add blocker.

                  I do both of those things also.


                  Given the level of knowledge on how to use a browser and the net in your post I will must also inform you that that bookmarks allow you to return to a site without typing their name into a search engine.

                  I'm not a real fan of bookmarks. I really don't even know why, but I rarely use them. Probably because I don't often visit the same sites repetitively. Usually it's easier for me to start typing and then selecting the url from the list of urls I've previously visited. That and the sites I do frequent often (like Techdirt) I have RSS feeds set up for.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:03am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    oops, that should have been a reply to whatever, not you, my bad :)

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Gwiz (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:55pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      oops, that should have been a reply to whatever, not you, my bad :)

                      And I should have read what you quoted more closely..my bad too. :)

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:33am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                TLDR: Whatever is utterly ignorant about how to use the tools he chooses, and blames Google for that. Surprise, surprise, but he expects us to take his other opinions on deeper tech seriously...

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2017 @ 5:24am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You got trolled. That is not whatever.

                  Haha

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2017 @ 6:12am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    What's worse - the fact that you had to come in and defend that idiot nearly 3 years after my comment was made or the idea that even a logged in profile can't be who the login indicates they are in troll land?

                    I do love email notifications of old threads, though, it's sometimes interesting to see what people will say years after the conversation has finished.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              First off, let me start by saying I am not PaulT. I feel that needs to be repeated time and time again, because you're only going to bring it up every time I call you out.

              Secondly, I've told you numerous times now NOT to discuss anything Android related. Why? Because you know nothing about the OS or anything involving it and everything you state is either misinformed (at best) or flat out bullshit and lies (at worst and the far more likely thing when it comes to being said by you).

              Thirdly, citations needed for everything you said.

              Onward and upward to shooting down what you said though.

              "Okay. Explain to me how to remove the Google search from an Android phone and replace it with a yahoo search - without rooting the phone."

              Simple, you install any other search app you like and then never use Google search again. No root required.

              Here's a few worth checking out. Again, no root required. Install and use.

              https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.duckduckgo.mobile.android&hl=en

              https://pla y.google.com/store/apps/details?id=me.disconnect.search&hl=en

              There are others. First statement, officially debunked.

              But in related news, if you really want to present loaded questions where you ask questions and in the same breath tell people that answers must exclude certain options, you're effectively saying, "There are ways to do what I'm asking but I don't want to do them!" If you're gonna act like AJ, asking questions and limiting potential answers, expect to get reported like AJ does.

              "Explain to me how to stop Firefox from sending my incomplete typins to Google as searches (so they can get paid)."

              Simple, don't use Firefox. You're aware there are other browser options, right?

              For a list of options, please visit the following link.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_web_browsers

              But if you want to continue using Firefox, per your question that basically demands choosing from a pre-selected amount of replies, you can just simply use another search engine in Firefox.

              https://duckduckgo.com/

              https://disconnect.me/search

              And, shockingly to you I'm sure, there are others.

              Boom! Next moronic thing debunked. I'm on a goddamn roll here.

              "Explain to me how I can surf the web without getting buried under targeted and semi-targeted ads from Google based on the my searches on their search engine - without having to disable other products."

              Please see previous response for the response to this one.

              Damn, I'm good. Fucking three for three so far.

              "You can't easily do any of those things - and the default action certainly is monopolistic."

              Actually, you can. As I just proved and gave you links to do exactly all of those things. Now, maybe the issue is more YOU can't do all those things. But that's your problem and not anyone else's. Anyone with a clue or a true inkling to do any of those things is free to do them and it takes literally all of five minutes tops to do all of them combined.

              The default action is anything but monopolistic, I think it's more a case of "the user in this case (that'd be you) is an idiot and seriously uninformed about options or how to do any of them". To reiterate a point though, that sounds more like a "your problem" than anyone else's.

              I eagerly await your rebuttal, sweetheart. Remember, citations needed. If you're gonna talk about Android or Google you better bring proof and evidence to support your false claims. Otherwise I'm going to continue calling you out, like I did just now and proving you dead wrong.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:41am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "First off, let me start by saying I am not PaulT."

                Wow, he's on that again, is he? I've been too busy to keep track of these recently so haven't seen him whine since his original false assumption.

                Whatever, you obsessed moron, I NEVER post anonymously, as I've mentioned before. If there's someone posting as an AC, it's not me being a petty dickhead, it's you being called out as such - yet again. Try addressing the truth, not the convenient fiction that allows you to continue lying.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:41am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "First off, let me start by saying I am not PaulT."

                Wow, he's on that again, is he? I've been too busy to keep track of these recently so haven't seen him whine since his original false assumption.

                Whatever, you obsessed moron, I NEVER post anonymously, as I've mentioned before. If there's someone posting as an AC, it's not me being a petty dickhead, it's you being called out as such - yet again. Try addressing the truth, not the convenient fiction that allows you to continue lying.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                icon
                Whatever (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:46am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I eagerly await your rebuttal, sweetheart

                you are a troll, logged in as Paul or not. No further answer merited. I won't play with you when you are logged in, and I won't play with you when you post as a baiting troll either.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:09pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Translation: Everything you stated is completely accurate and true and since I have no rebuttal I will abuse you of being a trip and PaulT and run away without responding because I actually am incapable of doing so.

                  Don't worry, we all expected no less from you. It's your usual M.O., make false claims, they get debunked, you call the person who does so a troll and then you don't respond further.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:23pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Waaaaaah! Waaaaaaah! Waaaaaaah!"

                  Go soak your butthurt on Chris Dodd's dick, asshole.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Gwiz (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              ...because Google can just turn off the tap and end their online business overnight.


              Basing the majority of your business model upon another company's product is not the brightest move under any circumstances.

              If I ran a newspaper recycling business, could I force the newspapers to produce more dead-tree versions to keep my business profitable?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Whatever (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:49am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Google literally stands between the online public and the sites. Put a site into a top 5 position for a major keyword, and they can become one of the most popular sites online. Rank them at the back (or worse, stick them in the sandbox / naughty pile) and the chance anyone every finds your site is zero - unless of course you are willing to pay big money for exposure.

                Google has incredible power over what is and what is not "hot" online. Almost every webmaster, site designer, and programmer is painfully aware of trying to make sites that "please Google", because there is no real alternative.

                Google has the keys to the castle.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Gwiz (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:43pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Google literally stands between the online public and the sites. Put a site into a top 5 position for a major keyword, and they can become one of the most popular sites online. Rank them at the back (or worse, stick them in the sandbox / naughty pile) and the chance anyone every finds your site is zero - unless of course you are willing to pay big money for exposure.

                  I don't agree with that at all. Have you never heard of the Digg Effect?

                  Yes, Google is massively successful at what they do, but they are not the gatekeepers of the internet, no matter how much you may wish to blame them for everything that happens online.

                  Do you even realize the irony of you last sentence there? Google provides all this "big money exposure" for free, yet they are still to blame for everything. Crazy.



                  Google has incredible power over what is and what is not "hot" online. Almost every webmaster, site designer, and programmer is painfully aware of trying to make sites that "please Google", because there is no real alternative.

                  And my answer to that is: So what? Just because they were successful they somehow all of sudden have a responsibility to prop up every online business out there? Why? What if Google decided to shut down their search offerings tomorrow, would you try to force them to continue it because a bunch of companies are stupidly (IMO) relying on another company's product for survival?

                  There are alternatives. Search engines existed long before Google came along.



                  Google has the keys to the castle.

                  Google BUILT the castle. If you don't like rules of their kingdom, build your own castle.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 1:11pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Google literally stands between the online public and the sites.

                  Except for those people who rely on social media for their on line life, and rarely if ever use a search engine. Have you not heard of videos going viral, which has nothing to do with Google, even if they are hosted on YouTube.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 1:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Explain to me how to remove the Google search from an Android phone and replace it with a yahoo search - without rooting the phone."

              It's easy. The Google search app can be disabled so it doesn't appear at all. I'm sure that Yahoo provides their own search app that you can use instead.

              Other than that, I'm not sure exactly what you mean. I was using a non-rooted Android phone without using Google for a long time.

              "Explain to me how to stop Firefox from sending my incomplete typins to Google as searches (so they can get paid)."

              Tools->Privacy->Options lets you disable that (and other things along the same lines).

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Antsan (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 3:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Okay. Explain to me how to remove the Google search from an Android phone and replace it with a yahoo search - without rooting the phone."
              Uhm... Normally I use a browser and then go use DuckDuckGo.
              It's not like you even need a dedicated App for simply doing a search.

              "Explain to me how to stop Firefox from sending my incomplete typins to Google as searches (so they can get paid)."
              Do you even use Firefox? My search bar in Forefox also goes directly to DuckDuckGo, not to Google. I haven't used Google for any searches for more than a year now.

              "Explain to me how I can surf the web without getting buried under targeted and semi-targeted ads from Google based on the my searches on their search engine - without having to disable other products."
              Why is it Google's fault if people use their ad services?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 8:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The nature of the news world is to put a big chunk of the basics of the story into the first paragraph. So the part of the story that Google quotes generally tells you a whole bunch about the story."

          This is a dangerous stance to take for a bunch of reasons, but I'll focus on the two main ones. It's common practice in the news world to bury the lede when reporting things that they don't really want to report. When this happens, the most important stuff is never in the first paragraph. It's often not even in the first half of the story. The more sensitive the news story, the more deceptive that first paragraph is. Also, the first paragraph of the story is the one that tends to be the most deceptive even when it does contain all the essential facts. It's where the spin is most heavily applied. When I was taking journalism courses, one of the "tricks" they taught us was to just skip the first paragraph of news stories altogether. It's the least reliable part of the story.

          If all you're doing is reading headlines or the first paragraph, then you're the opposite of informed. You're disinformed.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          techflaws (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:43pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't really have to go any further, I am informed.

          Which really explains a lot considering your typical bullshit. Still, you completely failed to explain how Google blocks people from going straight to the news source.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      G Thompson (profile), 2 Oct 2014 @ 11:10pm

      Re:

      What monopoly? In fact what MARKET??? No advertising is permitted in Germany.. everything is done by Google gratis therefore no competition.

      Google has NO obligation legally, morally or anything else to make these organisations money nor do their bidding.

      In fact the organisations are absolutely free to set up their own search engine and compete with Google.

      Whether this is spiteful or just standard business practices and absolutely ethical behaviour (and it is ethical on Google's part) is up to the observers bias. We know your bias don't we

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2014 @ 11:37pm

        Re: Re:

        No one is stopping them from making their own search engine.

        Or rather, if you can't afford it, do without.

        Sound familiar? Don't expect IP fanboys to take their own medicine, though; those are for serfs and peasants.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:45am

        Re: Re:

        In fact the organisations are absolutely free to set up their own search engine and compete with Google.

        I would love to see that!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 4:43am

      Re:

      Wow, there's no pleasing you trolls, is there? Wasn't it not so long ago that you insisted, "No one has a monopoly, or forcing you to use their product. If you don't agree with the terms, do without"?

      So now Google's doing without, and you're angry because they did what you asked them to?

      Jackass.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Just Another Anonymous Troll, 3 Oct 2014 @ 7:14am

      Re:

      If someone sues you because you use their content, it is perfectly acceptable to stop using their content.
      The news publications can either enjoy the free traffic at the "expense" of somehow losing traffic because just seeing the headline and a snippet gives you all the important information (/sarc), or they can have themselves delisted or otherwise prevent Google from showing them, which causes them to lose that traffic.
      They should have just sent in a demand that says; "You guys are making money, so give us some.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2014 @ 9:43pm

    Sneak preview of an impending German law:

    "American companies whose names rhyme with 'boogle' are required to buy news snippets from German publishers every day, at whatever rate the publishers set. Failure to comply with this law will result in a fine of one million dollars per day."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Editor-In-Chief, 2 Oct 2014 @ 10:07pm

      Re: Sneak preview of an impending German law:

      Good way to make this company leave the confines of German territory. Then the law will no longer be applicable.

      David Oliver Graeme Samuel Offenbach

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 2 Oct 2014 @ 10:27pm

    I hope Google just replies with a hearty FU, because that's all they deserve.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 1:24am

    Old saying. "Be careful what you wish for."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Trevor, 3 Oct 2014 @ 8:52am

    ...

    Google displays "snip-its" of articles that link to various websites and drive traffic their way, increasing profit.

    Web Sites: "Hey, you need to pay us to use our articles! If you don't want to pay, don't link to our articles!"

    Google: "Okay then."

    Google removes links to those websites, because it doesn't want to pay.

    Web Sites: "WHAT!? HEY THAT'S BLACKMAIL YOU CAN'T JUST NOT LINK TO US! YOU HAVE TO PAY AND CAN'T NOT LINK! #Justice"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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