Google re-adds Belgian newspapers after public spat


In one of the odder stories of the weekend, a misunderstanding between a Belgian newspaper and Google has, once again, turned into a public spat. The AP reports that “La Capitale” claimed on its Website on Friday that Google had begun “boycotting” it and other members of Copiepresse in what it claimed was retaliation over a copyright infringement lawsuit. In 2006, the newspapers sued Google for including their search results in its Google News search and in May of this year, an appeals court upheld their victory, forcing Google to remove their pages from its results. Google did so quite completely, removing them from search as well, since the newspapers had been removed from Google News for several years now.

We spoke with a Google U.K. spokesperson, who told us that the court decision was somewhat vague and could be interpreted to include Web search as well as Google News, which means Google could be fined 25,000 euros (or $35,359) per infringement if it posted the newspaper’s results. Copepresse was already informed that it would be re-added to news if it signed a waiver indicating that it would not sue and Google had the right to index its results and that it modified some metatag data on its site to indicate to Google that each page is okay to index.

“We regret having to do so,” said another Googler, speaking with the AP. “We would be happy to re-include Copiepresse if they would indicate their desire to appear in Google Search and waive the potential penalties.”

Content from La Capitale is still not accessible on Google. However, the Google U.K. representative confirmed with us that they will be reinstating the content: “We are delighted that Copiepresse has given us assurances that we can re-include their sites in our Google search index without court-ordered penalties. We will do this as quickly as possible. We never wanted to take their sites out of our index, but we needed to respect a court order until Copiepresse acted. We remain open to working in collaboration with Copiepresse members in the future.”

We may be with Google on this one. From the search company’s point of view, it’s probably better to be cautious than risk another lawsuit or fines of $35,000 per search result. As a tech news company, we also find it rather odd for a news site to want to be in Google Search, but not Google News, which is simply a more targeted Search directed at current events. Still, to each his own. It’s good to see the newspapers will be searchable again, at least outside of Google News.

Update 7/18/2011: We’ve updated the article after Google got back with us and clarified its side of the story.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.

Chromebook 13 vs. Google Pixelbook: Acer model takes on the king

Acer's Chromebook 13 is throwing tons of speed at the Chrome OS market, to go with a midrange build and traditional clamshell design. Is that enough to challenge the Google Pixelbook?

Benchmark scores surface for Google's midrange Pixel 3 XL Lite

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.

Google Fi is getting support for the next-gen messaging standard, RCS Chat

Google has been pushing the development of the RCS Chat standard, and now it's finally bringing that new standard to its own carrier -- Google Fi. With Chat, customers will get features like read receipts, better group messaging, and more.

Google is giving its G Suite web apps new touches of visual improvements

Your G Suite applications will soon have a different look. Several of the web apps are getting updated with subtle visual improvements inspired by Google's Material Design guidelines. 

Hackers are scoring with ransomware that attacks its previous victims

Computer viruses are always evolving. In a new one, dubbed "Ryuk," hackers are targeting PCs with ransomware that scours an infected network in order to pinpoint and attack and enterprises with big money.

An update to Microsoft To-Do will help you keep up with your resolutions

If you're looking to stay productive in 2019, you might want to check out the freshly updated Microsoft To-Do app, now with additional integration with the Windows 10 Start Menu and more.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

Could the next Microsoft HoloLens be announced at MWC 2019?

After not having a presence at Mobile World Congress for three years, Microsoft is now sending out media invites for a press conference on February 24 during the annual event in Barcelona. Could a next-generation HoloLens be on the way?

Microsoft to separate Cortana from search with the next version of Windows 10

Changes are on the way for two key features in Windows 10. A separation of Windows 10 search and Cortana will allow Microsoft to more often innovate on each of the features independently.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents with Adobe or a free option

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.

Nvidia’s next midrange card might be a GTX 1660 Ti, rumors suggest

Nvidia may be working on a non-RTX Turing graphics card called the 1660 Ti. Rumors suggest it will have around 20 percent fewer CUDA cores than the RTX 2060 and will lack ray tracing support.