Google Refuses Belgian Court Order
Requiring that Google remove all Belgian news sources from its index and stop publishing content snippets and thumbnails is one thing, but making them wear the judgment like a scarlet badge is quite another – and Google’s not taking it lying down.
Google said that it would not comply with an order from Brussels that the company post the text of the ruling in its entirety on both Google.be and news.google.be. The court says it will impose a fine 500,000 Euros ($633,000) per day that Google is non-compliant.
Google spokespersons fired back with a promise to appeal both the ruling and the order, calling the requirement to post the ruling “disproportionate.”
The order came shortly after what critics have called a complete misunderstanding by Belgian plaintiffs of how Google News works. The court demanded Google stop “publishing” news content and images without permission from the newspapers or payment of fees.
But critics have sung in a chorus alongside of Google, arguing that not only does Google News drive a tremendous amount of traffic to those news websites, but only a headline and snippet of text is “published,” enticing users to click through to the site for the full story. That chorus, apparently, has fallen on deaf ears in the Belgian court.
Google has yet to comply with the order.