Google.be gets a legal makeover in content row



I almost missed this, but the Google Belgian homepage looked like an equity research disclaimer for a week.  After its condemnation by the Belgian Courts for violation of copyright, Google was forced to publish the court’s decision for a week on the homepage.

 

Google being Google they immediately dereferenced the plaintiffs from the search engine, such that all the leading French-language newspapers are not available on Google.be anymore.  Users need to force a switch to google.com to get Le Soir to show at its rightful #1 spot.  Typing Le Soir in google.be does not deliver a hit as far as the eye can see, but ironically typing "condamnation google" on .com delivers a LeSoir.be hit at the #3 spot.  You gotta love the web !

I have always thought it was fascinating to see the New York Times running Google Ads and essentially giving away much of its CPM value, whilst at the same time Google was garnering traffic with its own news offering.  Great strategy, provide more cash to the guy who is putting you out of business.  Whilst there is no disputing that papers are fighting a losing battle, isn’t it time the publishers (be they blogs or newspapers) got together with a credible ad platform that would serve their needs ?

Battelle suggests alignment exists, referring to David Eun’s post.  I think he is right, however what really matters is where the money flows to and the question is whether Google News and its ilk are overly commoditizing the business of producing good content  and not paying enough margin back.  I think that newspapers need to work hard towards a further "deportalisation" of information consumption so they can syndicate their content as they see fit, to targeted audiences, with CPM economics that they can influence.

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