dimanche 17 juillet 2011

Google and the Belgian press. A Pyrrhic victory

Belgian papers, published in French or German, have sued Google for copyright infringement. And they won an ultimate victory (Court of Appeals, Brussels, May 5, 2011. Cf. Google vs Copiepress, Société de droit d'auteur des Journalistes, Assucopie). See also the press release from Copiepress.
In accordance with the decision of the Court, newspaper articles have been removed from Google News.
But Google removed also the newspapers Websites from its index. The newspapers have therefore disappeared from search results (cf. Associated Press).

Plutarch relates the very same story about Pyrrhus victories against the Romans: they were worse than defeats. "If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined" said Pyrrhus (Lives, "Pyrrhus", XXI. -XXII, Loeb Classical library, Cambridge, p. 417).

N.B. Until now, people wondered how a newspaper could survive online without being indexed and therefore found in the search results. It was only a Gedanken Experiment (thought experiment). Thanks to this situation, we will know

Update: A few days later, Copiepress asks Google to index the newspaper websites again...

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