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.

Product Review

Simple, smart, and affordable, Google’s USB-C earbuds are a must-buy

Google’s follow-up to its wireless Pixel Buds are the wired Google Pixel USB-C earbuds. It’s the simpler route, but the earbuds are still smart, deliver good sound, and -- best of all -- they’re affordable.

Google may charge up to $40 per Android device for app suite following EU ruling

Google announced that it will be charging Android device manufacturers in Europe a licensing fee to use its apps and services. The announcement is part of an effort to comply with new European Commission regulations.

Keep Notes is the latest app to get Google’s Material Design makeover

Google is updating more and more of its apps to come into line with its latest Material Design trends, and now it's Keep Notes' turn to get a new pair of pants. This update is now rolling out on Android devices.
Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.

Will Apple introduce a new MacBook at its Oct. 30 event? Here's everything we know

Whether it's called the MacBook Air or just the MacBook, Apple is highly rumored to introduce a new, affordable laptop in 2018. We discuss reports about upgrading displays, processors, sign-in features, and more.

Apple CEO demands Bloomberg retract its Chinese surveillance story

Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling on Bloomberg to retract a story alleging that Apple had purchased compromised servers that allowed the Chinese government to spy on Apple. Apple's investigation found no truth to the story.
Product Review

Dell’s G3 Gaming laptop knows what gamers want, and what they can live without

Compromise and budget gaming laptops go hand-in-hand, but with the G3, Dell has figured out how to balance what gamers want with what they can live without.
Product Review

Amid a new fleet of budget laptops, the ZenBook 13 sails where others sink

It’s never been truer that you don’t need to spend over a thousand bucks to buy a good laptop. The ZenBook 13 takes we’ve always loved about its predecessor and makes enough small refinements to keep it ahead of its competitors.

Protect your digital identity with these four easy steps to online anonymity

You don't have to be a secret agent or a notorious hacktivist to care about anonymity. Consult this guide to learn tips, tricks, and best practices for staying anonymous and keeping your online activity private

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.

How does Samsung's new 2-in-1 stack up against the tried-and-true Surface Pro 6?

We're the stacking Surface Pro 6 and Galaxy Book 2 up against each other in this head-to-head. Both of these devices share a similar form factor and design, but be it LTE connectivity or difference in pricing, each offers up its own pros…
Social Media

How to turn off Safe Mode in Tumblr

If you've joined Tumblr after hearing tales about the social network's more adult communities, you may be disappointed by how family-friendly it seems. Here's how to turn off "Safe Search" in Tumblr and delve into the site's seedy…
Product Review

Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide gaming monitor review

Samsung has taken "ultrawide" to its new limit with its 49-inch gaming monitor, the CHG90. With a 144Hz refresh rate and ungodly amounts of screen real estate, it just might be the most impressive gaming monitor ever made.

Choose your weapon wisely -- these are the best keyboards for gaming on your PC

Your PC isn't complete without one of the best gaming keyboards on the planet. We have a list spanning full-sized models to compact versions from Razer, Cooler Master, Corsair, Logitech G, and more.