Apparently, the Belgian publisher (Copiepresse) didn’t like the idea that some of their copyrighted titles and news articles appeared on the Belgian Google News or Google.be site.
If you take a look at the Google News site, you’ll notice that Google doesn’t actually reproduce entire articles, but instead, it posts news summaries and titles and includes links to the original or source website. This is part of their news aggregation service, which I, as a consumer and netizen, find extremely helpful and a blessing, in more ways than one.
My point is, come on, if you’re a news publisher and you don’t want your articles copied or acknowledged by the general public, then don’t publish over the web in the first place! There is a fine line between wanting to earn big bucks and having a sense of integrity and credibility (in this case I feel that the publisher took advantage of copyright loopholes to earn some “easy” money at the expense of Google). To add insult to injury, you can bet that a lot of traffic that went to the publisher’s website wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for its inclusion on the Google News aggregate list.
Can you imagine what will happen if Google and other search engines and aggregation services, such as MSN and Yahoo! suddenly decide to “de-list” or “un-index” sites of those who filed lawsuits against them? It’s possible that these sites will soon be forgotten and they’ll probably end up having to beg to be re-included in these search engines.
Do you think it was fair?