If Google doesn't comply with this month's ruling and continues to publish Belgian newspaper copy without permission and without paying a fee, the Belgian Court of First Instance will fine the company €1 million ($1.27 million) daily, the association said. "It's an infraction of Belgian and EU laws, the newspapers are losing money this way and, above all, Google thinks it is outside the law," the association's Secretary-General Margaret Boribon said.
But, if you think about it, isn't that kind of what sploggers do--take your content, republish it, not tell you, then make money off of it?
Think about it....
Update: Google drops Belgian news...oh, well...guess all their spare change is going towards paying the AP.
Update 9/24/06 Steve Yelvington dissects the Belgian Court decision....one of Steve's points:
Google is sending valuable traffic to publishers, and squaring off against Google is self-destructive. This is not relevant to the question of whether Google's repurposing practices amount to fair use or thievery. But it also isn't automatically true. Publishers benefit from some sorts of Google listings and not from others. Many publishers have a business model predicated entirely on service to a geographically focused community and derive little benefit (and often great expense) from Google-driven traffic. And, of course, publishers suffer when the new summary pages of Google News take away the audience that otherwise would have gone to the publishers' content on their own sites.It appears that, as I thought, the argument the Belgian papers have is not with aggregating a few lines, but with the article's storage on Google. Once an article is "cached" in Google, that it remains in Google, and that readers never get to the site where the article originally appeared. In this particular sense, not in the sense of aggregating a few lines and then sending traffic to the newspaper's site via a link, Google is indeed acting like a splog. They're holding the content and making money from it in perpetuity. not cool, Google, not cool. Steve concludes: "I'm not eager to see lawsuits against search engines as a primary tool for resolving this issue, but it seems to me that the Belgian ruling is well grounded in the reality of today's Internet. There is a line between fair use and thievery, and it is not Google's to define through unilateral action."
Oh, and let's remember folks: Google is not a public library, and its collecting of content may not be for quite the same reasons as that of a public library.
Journalism, citizen journalism, media newspapers