Will Google pay for content?

Will Google pay for content?

Summary: Is Google's free ride over?

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TOPICS: Google
2

UPDATE: Google gets defensive, all over the world

 

Way back in November I asked “Is Google’s multi-billion dollar free ride over?

Google’s super profit margins are due, in part, to its shrewd, but not content owner friendly, business model by “fair use” and “safe harbor” (see “Google ’safe harbor’: ‘Nice’ way to do business?”)…

Google’s $150 billion market cap relies on selling ads against content it has not compensated rights holders for and that it has no explicit legal rights to use.

This just in from Belgium, as reported by Bloomberg

A Brussels court said Google violated copyright laws by publishing links to Belgian newspapers without permission and ordered the company to remove them, setting a precedent for future cases in Europe. 

Google, the owner of the world's most-used search engine, must pay 25,000 euros ($32,500) a day until it removes all Belgian news content, the Brussels Court of First Instance ruled today. There's ``no exception'' for Google in copyright law, the court said.

The case may restrict how Internet sites in Europe link to newspaper content. Copiepresse, a group representing French- and German-language newspapers including La Libre Belgique and Le Soir, had sued Google for copyright infringement. The journals lose advertising revenue when Google uses snippets of articles and links directly to stories, bypassing ads on their Web sites, said Bruno Vandermeulen, a Brussels-based lawyer at Bird & Bird.

The court ordered Google to remove articles, photos and graphics ``from all its sites,'' including Google News and cached copies visible in search results.

Bernard Magrez, a lawyer for Copiepresse who works for Eurothemis, said the daily fine imposed against Google today is retroactive for 139 days, to when the search engine was first asked to remove the content.

Google will have to pay an additional 1,000 euros a day to other copyright groups, including SAJ, which represents journalists, if it fails to remove their content from its sites, the court ruled.

Google’s reaction:

Yoram Elkaim, a lawyer for Google, said in Brussels today that the company was waiting for further clarification from the court about the fines.

Philippe Nothomb, head of legal affairs of Rossel et Cie., which owns Belgium's most-read French daily, Le Soir:

There's no animosity. We just don't want a win-lose situation.

WILL THE BELGIAN PRESS VICTORY OVER GOOGLE EMBOLDEN MORE WEB PUBLISHERS TO DEMAND PAYMENT FROM GOOGLE AS IT PROFITS OFF OF ITS USE OF THEIR CONTENT WITHOUT PAYING FOR IT?
[poll id=49]

UPDATE: Google gets defensive, all over the world and Google: Is robots.txt really a copyright infringement defense?

Topic: Google

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2 comments
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  • Content like SPAM?

    When folks started writing about SPAM (Mass MArketing Email) I wrote that any marketer would have to be crazy not to take advantage of "free" advertising. After all, if it costs virtually nothing to prospect, why wouldn't you?
    Nothing has changed. Search engines use the internet to create "content" for free, so why wouldn't they?
    As I commented to Marketing Sherpa who complained about plagiarism of their content, a decision has to be made. If you want control of your content, charge for subscriptions, and don't allow access without it. Well, many wrote to inform me, haughtily I might add, that the whole idea of publishing their content on the internet was that writers and publishers want the material to be read, be searched and be found, since it could be relevant to the searcher's interests. I said then, and I say again, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Either restrict access through paid subscriptions (and watch the mobs form with firebrands and pitchforks) or allow the access that you want. The real complaint here is that the publishers aren't content with the content views, they want the addvertising "eyeballs" also, and the revenue that goes with them.
    It's another question entirely whether a paid content only business model will destroy the Internet, but greed surely will minimize it's value, and reduce it's appeal to users.
    Content producers and owners are concerned that the Internet ubiquitous ability to find and present information, communication and entertainment through the "democratic" process of search roughly equalizes all "content"and thereby perhaps minimizes "content" value. That may be true, but the greater good of maimizing content distribution offers ever larger audiences, which has some value as well.
    I'm not smart enough to know how the "content wars" will play out, but my desire is that content producers and owners quit whining and either adopt a paid subscription model for access, or realize that the Internet content distribution channel offers unprecedented opportunity for content distribution and a "downstream" revenue model that is relationship-driven, not content-based in the strictest sense.
    Content owners and producers are eying the music industry fights with "sharing" networks and visualizinf the potential of similar licensing and revenue models with the likes of Google and Yahoo and AOl.
    Contrary to music, wherein almost any content has some value to a willing buyer, Information and News content may not offer the same value relationship that could be monetized in the same way.
    We'll see.
    You probably can't have your content and eat it too.
    BaltimoreBarry
  • Content like SPAM?

    When folks started writing about SPAM (Mass Marketing E-mail) I wrote that any marketer would have to be crazy not to take advantage of "free" advertising. After all, if it costs virtually nothing to prospect, why wouldn't you?
    Nothing has changed. Search engines use the internet to create "content" for free, so why wouldn't they?
    As I commented to Marketing Sherpa who complained about plagiarism of their content, a decision has to be made. If you want control of your content, charge for subscriptions, and don't allow access without it. Well, many wrote to inform me, haughtily I might add, that the whole idea of publishing their content on the internet was that writers and publishers want the material to be read, be searched and be found, since it could be relevant to the searcher's interests. I said then, and I say again, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Either restrict access through paid subscriptions (and watch the mobs form with firebrands and pitchforks) or allow the access that you want. The real complaint here is that the publishers aren't content with the content views, they want the addvertising "eyeballs" also, and the revenue that goes with them.
    It's another question entirely whether a paid content only business model will destroy the Internet, but greed surely will minimize it's value, and reduce it's appeal to users.
    Content producers and owners are concerned that the Internet's ubiquitous ability to find and present information, communication and entertainment through the "democratic" process of search roughly equalizes all "content"and thereby perhaps minimizes "content" value. That may be true, but the greater good of maximizing content distribution offers ever larger audiences, which has some value as well.
    I'm not smart enough to know how the "content wars" will play out, but my desire is that content producers and owners quit whining and either adopt a paid subscription model for access, or realize that the Internet content distribution channel offers unprecedented opportunity for content distribution and a "downstream" revenue model that is relationship-driven, not content-based in the strictest sense.
    Content owners and producers are eying the music industry fights with "sharing" networks and visualizing the potential of similar licensing and revenue models with the likes of Google and Yahoo and AOL.
    Contrary to music, wherein almost any content has some value to a willing buyer, Information and News content may not offer the same value relationship that could be monetized in the same way.
    We'll see.
    You probably can't have your content and eat it too.
    BaltimoreBarry