Belgian Court Challenges Google Cache & Deep Linking


A newspaper company in Belgium challenged Google news's snippets and pictures as well as Google's's pictures from their news sites. The judge decided with the plaintiff.

Chilling Effects has the details on the case outcome:

- Find that the defendant cannot exercise any exception provided in the law relating to copyright and ancillary rights (1991) and on the law on data bases (1998);

- Find that the activities of Google News and the use of the "Google cached violate in particular the laws on copyright and ancillary rights (1994) and the law on data bases (1998);

- Order the defendant to withdraw the articles, photographs and graphic representations of Belgian publishers of the French - and German-speaking daily press, represented by the plaintiff, from all their sites (Google News and "cache" Google or any other name within 10 days of the notification of the intervening order, under penalty of a daily fine of
1,000,000.- € per day of delay;

- Also order the defendant to publish, in a visible and clear manner and without any commentary from her part the entire intervening judgment on the home pages of '' and of '' for a continuous period of 5 days within 10 days of the notification of the intervening order, under penalty of a daily fine of 500,000,- € per day of delay;

Mike at TechDirt thinks this is quite stupid, but with search engines increasingly competing with their content providers, some people at WMW are wondering if this may lead to an eventual shift to a robots inclusion protocol instead of a robots exclusion protocol.


I really love Belgian beer.

I really love Belgian beer.

But I generally only drink Belgian beers at a Stealthcon. Can you imagine how clouded your judgement could be if you were having a few beers/ couple more/ just another/ at lunch - up to 9+ percent beers?

Oh. Ok. that's probably it then.

Actually, it's the TechDirt comment that's pretty stupid

because it entirely ignores the cached content bit which IMV has always been a brazen violation of copyright on Google's (and other's) part and on several counts as well e.g. lack of copyright holders' express permission, displaying copyright protected content within an unauthorized context, manipulating ist, etc.
Focusing on deep linking issues and traffic generation alone conveys a view of the Internet according to which the search engines seem to be an almighty and inviolable faculty everyone's supposed to kowtow to.

It's about time that:
a) the search engines realized that they're subject to civil and criminal laws plus international treaties and agreements just like any other profit driving corporation;
b) more web marketers realized that there's a whole lot of traffic way beyond the search engines and that it might be a good idea to pump serious resources into pulling it rather than acting as if hypnotized by the SEs' power and throwing everything at eminently fraud prone PPC programs ...

My slightly twisted agreement

It's about time that:
a) the search engines were held to civil and criminal law plus international treaties and agreements just like everyone else
b) there is no (b)...
You don't need to see other marketing opportunities...
These aren't the marketing options you're looking for...
Go about your business as usual...
Move along, little SE lemming, move along...

sampling is the most effective

marketing device ever created, bar none.

I like fantomaster point b) - the world of traffic is held in thrall by the engines, when a few little marketing moves done right could shake the whole scene up as if it were the world wide web.

What the SEs have done is great, they sliced a taste of every site for the mass review. Let the courts decide what's rude, but we should learn from their examples, and emulate their methods. Sampling - you gotta get your name out there, your brand or a thumbnail of your greater picture.

As for point a), to stay on topic, well the courts will decide - but the marketers will prevail, always, and what the SEs have done was necessary, imho.

Maybe the thumbnails that Google (not the publisher) created were copyrighted, maybe they were fair-use simulacra. The cache? Well, everybody puts their copyrighted material on the Web for distributed exposure, but not, you know, actual showing, as such ;)

But as for robots inclusion, jeez, I can just see that one being implemented right by every biz and corp across the land.

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