Publishers Eye Controlling Online Searches

Have you ever wondered whether it’s legal for Internet search engines like Google to automatically crawl a Web site and serve up snippets of it to search users? How about creating a cache of the pages it indexes, which can be served in their entirety without referencing the original site? Or using snippets of articles on news and aggregator sites?

Well, certainly other people have pondered these questions, and Internet search titan Google just lost its first bid to overturn a Belgian court order requiring Google to publish a ruling which found Google violated publishers copyrights by reproducing snippets of articles on its Google News aggregation service. In March 2006, Copiepresse brought a case against Google claiming its Google News service at news.google.be was illegally reprinting snippets of articles from its Belgian news sources without explicit permission. The judge agreed—and Google declined to participate at all—ruling that Google remove content from Copiepresse’s French and German-language newspapers from Google’s Belgian news Web site within ten days or pay a fine of €1 million a day. Google was also required to publish the text of the ruling on both Google Belgian home page and Belgian news site or pay a fine of €500,000 a day. Google has removed the news sources from its news sites and index, but has refused to post the text of the ruling, citing the sigificant publicity the case has already received. An appeal on the entire case is scheduled for November 24, 2006.

In many ways, Copiepresse’s complaint comes down to permissions. Search engines like Google, assume that if a Web page is publicly accessible, it can be indexed, although they honor opt-out requests and automated means for specifying content should not be indexed, such as robot.txt and robots META tags. However, Copiepresse (and most copyright law) operates under the assumption that to republish or redistribute content, permission must first be obtained from the copyright holder. Copiepresse wants to be in Google’s system, but, as a publisher, they want to be compensated for the value their content brings to Google.

To that end, the Paris-based World Association of Newspapers (WAN) is launching an Automated Content Access Protocol (ACAP) which would govern and specify how search engine spiders, news services, and other crawlers could access and utilize content from publishers—including specifying royalty arrangements and access levels—rather than the simple opt-in or opt-out model offered by existing exclusion policies.

Google and other search engine operators argue that their aggregators and indexes provide a useful service to content publishers, enabling Internet users to discover and access their sites in ways which wouldn’t be possible for the publishers on their own. Some publishers, however, claim Google, MSN, Yahoo, and others have essentially built their search and aggregation businesses by taking and utilizing publishers’ content without permission or compensation.

Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.

Get the best of both worlds by sharing your data on MacOS and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.

Firefox 66 is here and it will soon block irritating autoplay videos

Do web advertisements have you frustrated? Mozilla is here to help. The latest version of the browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.

Patreon is having another go at changing the way it charges creators

Patreon messed up pretty badly the last time it tried to change its payment system. Now it's having another go, though this time the changes mainly affect future sign-ups rather than its current community of creators.

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.

Don’t be fooled! Study exposes most popular phishing email subject lines

Phishing emails are on the rise and a new study out by the cybersecurity company Barracuda has exposed some of the most common phishing email subject lines used to exploit businesses. 

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.

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.