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Beligian Newspapers Blocked By Google

Posted on Sunday, July 17th, 2011 in Uncategorized by Nick

Several regional Belgium newspaper are crying foul now after being blocked from Google searches. The newspapers, represented by Copiepresse, recently sued Google over claims that links to newspaper stories in Google News were unauthorized and hurting their traffic and ad revenues. Google lost the case and was ordered to remove images and links to the newspapers’ stories from Google News and cached search results. Fines were also imposed, which amounted to €25,000 per day (or about $35,800).

Also resulting from the case is that Google is now required to get permission from publishers to index their content in Google News in Belgium. Google has entirely removed the websites of the involved publishers from its index, asserting that the court order requires it.

The newspapers are saying that Google’s actions are retaliation stemming from the lawsuit and that they only wanted their content removed from Google News, not the Google search index. Google says that “the court decision applied to web search as well as Google News . . . We would be happy to re-include Copiepresse if they would indicate their desire to appear in Google Search and waive the potential penalties.”

I would hate to say I told you so, but what did these newspaper think would happen? You mess with the bull and you get the horns.

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