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Google Faces $600,000 Fine In France

Copyright ruling threatens standard search results, upload/takedown procedures

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Over the years, Google’s had to appear in French courts several times, and it now looks like a recent case didn’t go so well. Google’s been found guilty of breaching copyright laws, and unless something changes, the company faces a fine of almost $600,000.

Granted, in objective financial terms, that wouldn’t mean much to Google, which has a market cap of about $191 billion. The bigger problems would be the PR blow and the precedent this ruling would establish.

The AFP article that broke the story (at least in English) explained, “The appeal court action pitted Google France and Google Inc. on one side against film producers Mondovino, a photographer and some documentary makers. . . . The complainants argued that their works were appearing on line, via the Google search engine and sometimes directly on Google Video, despite their demands that such material be withdrawn.”

So a loss here means Google is supposed to be more vigilant than ever in terms of censoring search results and monitoring uploads, which could leave the company open to more lawsuits in the future.

Google may appeal the ruling and hope for a more favorable decision next time, though.

The $600,000 is supposed to be hit Google in addition to legal costs, by the way, giving the company even more incentive to have its lawyers try again.

Google Faces $600,000 Fine In France
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  • Adsense Publisher

    Now there’s a breaking story that nobody and I mean nobody has written about as it just happened. I couldn’t believe what I saw myself. An employee caught red handed telling others how to break the law.

    How about breaking a news story about how an employee of Google’s was just caught on the Google Adsense Help Forum telling an Adsense publisher in Kazakhstan to print out a copy of the Terms and Conditions that were agreed upon and sign it, and then sign it again as if a Google employee had signed it, just so that publisher could circumvent the laws of that country that required that publisher to have a physically signed contract. The publisher wants to comply with the laws of the land and asked for Google’s help, and in doing so, was told to forge a signature because other publishers have done the same thing and gotten away with it. Don’t take my word for it. Read all about it on the help forum thread on Google’s own Adsense Help Forum. http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/AdSense/thread?tid=43db65608780d718&hl=en

  • http://www.neediff.com jb007

    Granted, in objective financial terms, that wouldn’t mean much to Google, which has a market cap of about $191 billion. The bigger problems would be the PR blow and the precedent this ruling would establish.

  • http://www.feelfree.co Guest

    Sorry Uncle Google, but 600k is a peny, pay them off

  • Mom

    That’s like giving community service to a murderer. They need to increase the penalty to 40% of company or something.

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