|FROM ||David Sugar
|SUBJECT ||Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Google Loses Copyright Case In Belgium
|From owner-hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com Sat Feb 17 09:06:46 2007
Received: from www2.mrbrklyn.com (localhost [127.0.0.1])
by www2.mrbrklyn.com (8.13.1/8.13.1/SuSE Linux 0.7) with ESMTP id l1HE6iAV021254
for ; Sat, 17 Feb 2007 09:06:46 -0500
Received: (from majordomo-at-localhost)
by www2.mrbrklyn.com (8.13.1/8.13.1/Submit) id l1HE6hnJ021253
for hangout-outgoings; Sat, 17 Feb 2007 09:06:43 -0500
X-Authentication-Warning: www2.mrbrklyn.com: majordomo set sender to owner-hangout-at-nylxs.com using -f
Received: from fencepost.gnu.org (fencepost.gnu.org [18.104.22.168])
by www2.mrbrklyn.com (8.13.1/8.13.1/SuSE Linux 0.7) with ESMTP id l1HE6fvu021250
for ; Sat, 17 Feb 2007 09:06:43 -0500
Received: from dyfet by fencepost.gnu.org with local (Exim 4.60)
id 1HIQBv-0002Yf-5p; Sat, 17 Feb 2007 09:05:31 -0500
Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2007 09:05:31 -0500
Subject: Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Google Loses Copyright Case In Belgium
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
From: David Sugar
There are a number of implications to consider. At least in the
American tradition, the special privileges the press enjoys are based in
part on the idea of their special role in providing information to the
public and in serving the public interest. When the fundimental right
and ability of the public to be informed is held hostage to copyright
holders in this way, citizens are reduced to sharecroppers in their own
society (yes, I am paraphrasing from Ruben ;). Hence, I see it as a
much larger issue than simply that of copyright overreach.
> Now it seems News content can be copyrighted ......
> Google Loses Copyright Case In Belgium
> A court ruled that Google violated the law by publishing copyrighted
> content without permission on Google News and ordered the infringing
> articles, pictures, and links removed.
> By *Thomas Claburn*
> Feb 13, 2007 04:00 PM
> A court in Belgium ruled Tuesday that Google violated the law by publishing
> copyrighted content without permission on
> and ordered the infringing articles, pictures, and links removed.
> Google expressed disappointment with the judgment and promised to appeal.
> "We believe that Google News is entirely legal," a
> company spokesperson says. "We only ever show the headlines and a few
> snippets of text and small thumbnail images. If people want to read the
> entire story they have to click through to the newspaper's Web site. Search
> tools such as Google Web
> Google News are of real benefit to publishers because they drive
> valuable traffic to their Web sites and connect them to a wider global
> Google may have a point: According to
> by Amazon's
> Alexa.com, *Le Soir* and *La Derniere Heure* -- two of the Belgian papers
> represented by Copiepresse, the group of 18 French- and German-language
> publications that brought the suit early in 2006 -- show a slight decline in
> traffic over the past year.
> It's not clear, however, whether the drop in traffic is coincidental or is
> the result of efforts by Google to remove the disputed content and make it
> unavailable to searchers.
> Copiepresse told *Le
> it expected the ruling would have significant international impact
> because the Belgian legislation in question corresponds to broader European
> rights. Google could thus face similar claims in other E.U. countries.
> Copiepresse already has indicated that it might pursue similar cases against
> Microsoft and Yahoo.
> The decision represents a setback for Google and its ambitions to expand
> information access. "I think it's a serious wake-up call to Google that says
> you've got a very aggressive approach to copyright," says Lee Carl Bromberg,
> co-founder of Bromberg & Sunstein, a law firm specializing in intellectual
> property issues. "This is a significant ruling against them saying not only
> have you gone too far, but it's going to cost you."
> The ruling will cost Google, though less than the initial proposed penalty
> of 1 million ($1.3 million) per day. The court reduced a retroactive daily
> fine imposed for noncompliance last September to 25,000 ($32,470) per day.
> Google says it complied with the order that same month, but Copiepresse
> claims infringing material was still available through Google three weeks
> ago. Bernard Magrez, a lawyer for Copiepresse, estimates that Google is
> currently liable for 3 million ($3.9 million), down from 130 million
> ($168.84 million), according to *Le Soir*.
> More broadly, the ruling may send the message to other potential
> Google's dominance online doesn't carry over into court. Even though
> the decision in Belgium isn't binding in the United States, Bromberg says,
> "I wouldn't be surprised to see people fighting Google elsewhere cite the
> decision in their legal briefs."