back to article Belgian newspapers demand Google cash

Google is being dragged to court again by fresh demands from Belgian newspapers to cough up for using copyright material in its news and web indexing services. Copiepresse, the publisher behind the lawsuit, has summoned Google to answer its up to €49m claim in a Brussels court in September, AP reports. Last year Google was …


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"Eight Midlands local rags had to be shut recently ... because of the growth of the internet"

truly, my black heart bleeds.

business model ? change in the industry dynamic ?

What did companies do when they realised the VCR was dead ? Oh yeah that's right, they started making DVDs. It's not Google's fault that trinity mirror didn't see the threat of interweb based news delivery creeping up out of nowhere ... I mean the internet's only been massively publically popular for what 15 years now ?

I, for one, welcome our new Google overlords.



Right ok, so they are quite happy for google to spider their site as long as its not the what else on a NEWSpaper website is there to spider?

Surely they would be happy that users are being encouraged to visit their site to read the whole story?

Am I missing something here?

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Exclude them from the Google engine and then see if they complain they're NOT being spidered.

Anyway why don't these cocks use robots.txt, huh? HUH?

That's what it's for isn't it?

Anonymous Coward


"Am I missing something here?"

Arrogance and short-sightedness are two pretty safe bets. :)

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Nothing Flemish about this blemish

Copiepresse represents French and German-language Belgian newspapers.

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Stop indexing and caching sites that complain about being indexed or cached.

With such a large chunk of the search market secured I doubt *Google* will be the ones to lose out. I use Google news and if a couple of sites dropped from their roster because they were being arsey about getting extra traffic from Google then I doubt I would mind... plenty more news sources out there who are glad of the extra traffic and resulting ad revenue.


Where are they?

"it had to delete Google News links to and cached articles"

How come the anti-copyright-tards aren't jumping in here and screaming that the papers have no right to copyright and restrict distribution of their efforts?

Oh, right. It doesn't involve downloading crappy music so it doesn't affect them.


Belgium ...

This is the 'Wallon' or french speaking part... They ran their economy completely into the ground and are fishing for money wherever they can . All they do is complain and complain. The government is a complete joke ( it took 6 months after the last elections to form a government , and now, after 3 months of it existing , it's ready to implode. They can not agree on anything.

All they have to do is put a robots.txt file on the site and done. it will not get indexed.

I am ashamed to be from that country.


Rent-seeking behaviour.

>"Eight Midlands local rags had to be shut recently when they were no longer viable for their owner Trinity Mirror, primarily because of the growth of the internet."

That's one hell of a typo for "primarily because they were a bunch of dull-as-dishwater crappy local freesheet rags"!

People don't want them because they're crap. Rather than just quietly go bankrupt, like the free market entrepreneurs they so vociferously pretend to be, they decide to demand government subsidy and special privileges so that they can be isolated from the economic realities of their situation, which is that if you're selling shit that nobody wants but there's nothing else available, you will be out of a job the instant anything even half worthwhile comes along.

Whenever anyone asks me what I think of some local freesheet, my stock answer is always "It makes my bum sore"...

Black Helicopters

Eight Midlands local rags had to be shut recently ... because of the growth of the internet

This is as absurd as holding back the development of the electric car and renewable energy for the sake of the oil producers.

Oh... wait...


@I am ashamed to be from that country.

There, there. What about if we merge Wallonia with Luxembourg, then create a large European "Parc des Ardennes" out of it with wild, free-ranging hogs and bankers? The flemish part gets the economic hubs and the coastal tourist centers. Brussels becomes the European District of Columbia (it's already on the same level of the "run down" scale at least). Everyone's happy.

We would have to put down a few surplus politicians but I guess nobody would mind.

Anonymous Coward

Everone's struggling..... make money from the internet. It costs to have a presence and unless you can get people onto your site and then get them to click on the ads (if you're relying on ads to do the trick) then you aren't gonna be making any money.

So, all the local rags shut down their physical and online operations as they go bust (whether they are crap or not is neither here nor there). Google gradually has fewer and fewer news sites to present as it's own and grab revenue from. So, is Google going to start up it's own news operations? I doubt it. Which leaves us with loads of bust businesses and very little in return.

I like(d) the free attitude of the net, but it is proving to be troublesome and whoever finds a way of allowing content producers to earn from their labours will be doing us all a favour. The thought of a world dominated by Google, Ebay and Amazon is not good.


Problem with not indexing their site

Google did that already. Copiepresse went to court to MAKE google put them on the search engine site (loss of visitors). Copiepresse have been told they can

a) use a robots.txt to stop spiders

b) use a HTTP tag to stop retention of pages

c) add a google-specific tag to their website to tell Google to stop caching

d) mail Google about pages they don't want cached

but Copiepresse didn't like ANY of these solutions. They wanted Google to sign to a copyright license to cache their stuff, pay for the license and not be able to decide NOT to agree (by telling the court that if Google didn't cache their site, they were interfering with Copiepresse's business and abusing their search engine monopoly).

Read up on the history of this, people. Groklaw still has quite a lot on it. Be considerate of their bandwidth.

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