Belgian court fines Google for archiving articles

By Justin Mann on February 13, 2007, 11:39 AM
Google runs fairly uninhibited for the most part, largely because of the aura of usefulness they seem to have, but occasionally they still run afoul of other companies. Not long ago, a Belgium based newspaper sued the giant, due to its caching of news articles and images that you could retrieve from search. While I find such features infinitely useful, the Belgium courts agreed that Google would have to proactively contact copyright owners first before doing such. They've been ordered to pay a fine and remove what they already have up:

But in the future, it said it would be up to copyright owners to get in touch with Google by e-mail to complain if the site was posting content that belonged to them. Google would then have 24 hours to withdraw the content or face a daily fine of 1,000 euros ($1,295).
How will this ruling impact other archiving? From a research point of view, preventing Google or other companies from keeping copies of digital material that may have been long since lost is a bad thing. The law, unfortunately, is not on their side with this one.




User Comments: 6

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kitty500cat said:
Why would you sue over that? If anything, Google's listing just promotes the web site; it doesn't degrade it in any way. But hey, if they can get money out of it...
nathanskywalker said:
[quote]the Belgium courts agreed that Google would have to proactively contact copyright owners first before doing such. [/quote]If that's how they want it, their call. Google should just drop them and let them see what happens when Google doesn't index them.
canadian said:
What I want to know, is how a little court is able to do something. Would I be able to go to my local court, make sure the officials are on my side, and try to force Google to contact every site on the internet to ask for permission to scan it?
OUTLAWXXX said:
Its an European company thats why, they seem to HATE American companies cause they completely KICK their ass in business and technology. sad but true they are not good innovators. oh and the American dollar is better than the Euro that pisses them off too.
Julio said:
If this newspaper had a subscription based model for archives then it makes sense not to want Google's cache. If that was not the case though, it's plain stupid not to want the cache which as was mentioned by Justin, only promotes the website.
Mictlantecuhtli said:
I wonder what this kind of rulings mean to [url=http://www.archive.org]The Internet Archive[/url]?
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