Monday, July 18, 2011

Google begins boycott of Belgian newspapers following loss of lawsuit over links inside Google News

Sometimes getting what you want is a very bad business decision. That might be the case this morning as several newspapers in Belgium discovered this weekend that their newspapers were essentially blocked from search results generated by Google's search engine.
The boycott of the newspapers by Google are the result of a lawsuit filed in 2006 by the newspapers which claimed that Google did not have the right to post links to their articles without Google paying them, or asking their permission.

Those papers won the lawsuit, but are now about to lose the war.

Google spokesman William Echikson confirmed that Google was removing the Belgian papers from their search results, telling the AP "We regret having to do so. We would be happy to re-include Copiepresse if they would indicate their desire to appear in Google Search and waive the potential penalties."

Those penalties, amounting to 25,000 €, hardly seem much of a victory for these publishers if their articles continue to be omitted from Google search results.

But Belgian publishers say that they don't mind having their search results show up on Google, they just don't want them to show up in Google News. Well, now they don't.