Google Asked to Remove Links to Local News Papers

As per a news article in Bloomberg, the Court of Appeal in Brussels on May 5 upheld a 2007 lower court ruling that forced Google to remove links and snippets of articles from French- and German-language Belgian newspapers from and

Google will have to pay EU25,000 per day for any delay in removing the links from its news section of the website. Copiepresse, the group that filed the suit on behalf of the newspapers, has a second suit pending in which they seek as much as 49.1 million euros for the period in which their content was visible on Google News.

Erik Valgaeren, a lawyer for Google, told the Court of Appeal, “This case will have serious consequences to the way information is searched and managed on the Internet". A negative ruling “would put at risk all referencing services, or even cause them to disappear.”

Read full article at:
Google Loses Copyright Appeal Over Internet Links to Belgian Newspapers - Bloomberg

It suggests that the local news publishers do not want Google to reference their news items. They believe that they are losing publisher revenue due to Google News.

Pretty much short sited from these new organisations who do not understand.
Google News is only providing a small snippet and a link to their site.

This shows the ignorance of some news organisations.

Why in the world have we allowed news to become subject to copyright anyway? Restricting news simply enlarges the ranks of the uninformed and that makes the world worse off, not better off.

I think the main issue is compensation and if Google agrees to pay, the Belgian newspaper will undoubtedly come back to Google News.

All this will end up doing is reducing their revenue as even less people will click through to their website. This ruling makes no sense.

Yes, it is the ad revenue that runs news papers. It is likely that local news papers are losing revenue after Google started publishing their news headlines. May be that majority of people read only headlines and not the complete story. In any case, as per the ruling, local publishers are losing revenue because of Google News and it is obvious that Google will have to share its revenue with local news papers to cover local news.

If the same model is followed worldwide, then it will be a huge burden on Google to manage news coverage worldwide unless it recruits news correspondents to publish news on its own. Alternatively, they can tie up with each of the news papers and have publishing arrangements made. Of course, the ruling will also have affects on other news collection sites that automatically collect and disseminate news (without any specific arrangement with news papers).

Doug G: News aggregation is different from giving snippets of news or article as appropriate. If one looks closely, “news aggregation” is a service, where as providing snippets or references is made based on “need”.

It depends. Do fewer people visit their site because of Google? Because in the end, that’s what publishers are interested in, aren’t they?

My guess is, that even fewer people will visit them when Google doesn’t link to them anymore at all.

News papers are losing revenue because people prefer to get their news online now, not just because Google started publishing their headlines, if anything Google putting snippets in drives more traffic to their sites.

Also there is bbc news which is good enough and effectively free, if anything I would say that this had more of a depressive effect on those papers.

It should also be noted that most news papers have been in steady decline for a long time.

It appears that the point is not taken. There are people working for news papers who gather news, compile, and publish them. They all get a lively hood using this profession. Online publishers like Google News that gathers news automatically (without any news correspondents), is somewhat like a scraper site that takes snippets of an original website. They do have online versions of their news papers and they don’t seem to need any help from Google News. As a result of Google News or any similar aggregation sites, they claim to be losing online revenues (because their online news sites, though original, are hardly visited).

Google news only has snippets, not enough to get the full story. When I use it if a story is even vaguely interesting then I would click through to the article. It is hardly like a scraper site, with a scraper site the whole article is copied, and yes in that case there would be little click through to the original site as all the content is there.

Google News is arguably a scraper site. As per Wikipedia Scraper site - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. a scraper site is defined as:

A scraper site is a spam website that copies all of its content from other websites using web scraping.
Going by the above definition, if the whole of the site is made of a copied material, then it can be categorized as a scraper site. Not sure if there is any original content in Google News website. It is appropriate to take express permission of the original new paper publisher before scraping the content.

Google News is arguably a scraper site. As per Wikipedia Scraper site - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. a scraper site is defined as:

I do not agree with that definition. If you use that definition then Google search is also a scraper site, the search results do not give you back original content, it is all taken from other websites.

If these sites want to stop Google from taking snippets of their site and showing them on Google then they just need to modify their robots.txt file, but of course they would not do that as Google search drives traffic to them and revenue.