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Google Faces Lawsuit Over News Copyright
Brett_Tabke




msg:1237772
 1:04 pm on Mar 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

[money.cnn.com...]

The French news service is seeking damages of at least $17.5 million and an order barring Google News from displaying AFP photographs, news headlines or story leads, according to the suit filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

 

bears5122




msg:1237802
 1:13 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

And isn't trying to stop a site from showing a news headline like trying to stop a newsstand owner from showing the headline? The newsstand owner doesn't pay the news service. The newspaper publisher does. But the guy who peddles the papers still gets to show the headlines to tempt people to read them.

Newstands purchase the newspapers to sell to the public. When Google buys the subscription, they are more than welcome to use the content I'm sure.

This would be no different than me photocopying a newspaper and selling the copies for my own profit.

It's funny that the people here defending Google are probably the same that will go in the hijacking thread and complain someone stole their content and site.

twist




msg:1237803
 2:21 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Lets say I have a small sight which reports local news. Nothing great just anything of interest happening in the area. Why do I take the time to right these little news articles? So people will keep coming back to my site. This gives me the chance to push my ads and generate traffic, even if all the traffic is doing is reading my headlines.

What if another bigger news site in my area started publishing my news headlines and thumb photos along with their own. People would just start going there and seeing if there was even a reason to go to my website. What if everytime I made a news article about something they went out and created a bigger better news article on the same exact thing. They could see how many people where clicking through on which of my articles and then making their own on the very same subject. Why come to my page and bookmark it, they can just go to the other paper and bookmark it.

Not to mention when people are looking for an article about something I wrote the first serp to come up is the other guy with my headlines. If google wins this case there could be all sorts of trouble for the small guy.

Chico_Loco




msg:1237804
 2:38 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Glad to hear it, and I hope AFP win this case because I agree with their side, particularly since Google has (according to AFP) ignored cease and desist letters.

Persoanlly I think Google have been getting away with caching and reproducing content for far too long. Google is a great search service with a perhaps good intentions, but that doesn't make all of this legal.

IanKelley




msg:1237805
 3:53 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Lets say I have a small sight which reports local news.

Do you honestly believe that if a site like Google is linking to your articles that it's not a good thing for you?

If so, by all means ban Google from accessing your site(s) without delay :-P

[rant - tongue in cheek at no one in particular] Adding a line to robots.txt is a lot to ask, I know, so lets make it a law that spiders need prior permission to crawl a website. Who needs search engines, it's not as if they're useful or anything. And what fun is it having a medium of communication that is free from rules and regulation. We need laws and precedents in order to communicate! [/rant]

Tapolyai




msg:1237806
 4:02 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Uhhh... Anyone ever heard of "fair use"?

Google makes a transformative representation of the news, as a consolidator. This is equivalent to listing various paragraphs from various sources, and comparing them, or grouping them in a specific way (in Google's case Business, Technology, etc.), or commenting or making fun of.

You cannot cease and desist a published document. That's idiotic...

Everyone is acting like it is unheard of.

(I wish I owned Google for like two months. I would just shut it down completely for 30 days, see how all the sue-happy people like it.)

twist




msg:1237807
 4:11 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do you honestly believe that if a site like Google is linking to your articles that it's not a good thing for you?

If so, by all means ban Google from accessing your site(s) without delay :-P

You should have read the whole post first.

The point of my post was that if google gets the legal right to print others peoples stories and headlines then everybody will have that right. Larger companies could potentially wipe out smaller companies.

Example: A large online newspaper in a particular area starts grabbing all the headlines and first paragraph or two of smaller newspapers in the same area and when people go looking for that smaller town headlines the first place they end up is the larger newspapers website since they rank higher in the serps. Effectivaly taking your traffic and forcing people to view their ads before they, potentially, send them off to your site. Your time and effort went into writing articles so your competitor can generate more visitors.

weeks




msg:1237808
 4:12 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

It seems as if a lot of people have forgotten what the net is all about.

It's public. If you publish something on the internet then you're publishing it to the public. If you don't want it to be public then publish it on your INTRAnet, not the internet.

For the most part, I agree. News should be subscription. And Google should be blocked. It's the only way it is going to be sustained. Right now, it's not paying for most.

walkman




msg:1237809
 4:14 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

"This would be no different than me photocopying a newspaper and selling the copies for my own profit."

wrong. You copied only the headline and about 10 words out of 1000 or so. I'm no G fan on the search side cause my site is essentially MIA, but you need to be objective. This will not even make it to trial, the judge will throw it out.

AFP should've sued in France not here...

carguy84




msg:1237810
 4:22 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Cut off the traffic if it makes them happy and don't ever let them back in once they opt out. That way, if their competitor gains an advantage by accepting the traffic that they refused, the complaining party can pridefully take credit for their own decline.

Nail on the head right here...

And take it one step further if you are a competitor to Francois Optout...as a competitor, make a public statement in support of Google's efforts along the lines of "XYZ Company proudly allows google to spider or news for the public viewing on their website. Our goal is to bring our quality news to as many eyes as possible and google is helping to ensure this..."

I also like the idea of blocking all the French IPs seeing as tho there does seem to be a trend picking up with complaints coming from that country.
Chip-

Chico_Loco




msg:1237811
 5:16 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do you honestly believe that if a site like Google is linking to your articles that it's not a good thing for you?

For people like me and you it might be a great thing. Corporate entities think in a very different manner. They probably couldn't give a hoot about Googles traffic because they have so much other traffic from elsewhere.

Don't think for a second that this AFP company didn't look at their stats and evaluate the situation before taking this action... so it's logical to assume that for them being on Google is doing more damage than good, and that Googles refusal to acknowledge AFP's cease and desist should result in damage compensation, to the tune of $17.5 Million.

Ultimately, AFP need to show that they have sustained a loss due to the actions of Google. I'm sure they have such evidence and given that Google never replied to their cease and desist, I am 100% on the side of AFP and I hope they win.

Also, about this robots.txt thing - that's so silly. Should I have to proactively search through my logs, parse user agents, then add them to a file just so that nobody uses my content illegaly - absolutely not. Does anybody here even own a site that gets crawled by the news spider? Is the user agent the same as Googles.

bears5122




msg:1237812
 7:25 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Uhhh... Anyone ever heard of "fair use"?

With your theory on fair use, it would be perfectly legal to re-publish books under your site for a profit.

Fairla




msg:1237813
 8:02 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Newstands purchase the newspapers to sell to the public. When Google buys the subscription, they are more than welcome to use the content

Newsstands don't deal with syndication services, however. They deal with publishers, and so does Google. And Internet publishers generally like being included in Google. If they don't, they have the ability to block Google. AFP should be complaining to its publishers, not to Google.

That's not to say I don't think there's a copyright question with Google's caching of entire articles/sites. But this is more similar to Denmark's ban on deep linking. The Internet is all about links. If AFP wants to control who links to its articles, it shouldn't be selling its articles to sites that allow outside links.

Mario




msg:1237814
 10:11 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Exactly Fairla.

walkman




msg:1237815
 3:05 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

"With your theory on fair use, it would be perfectly legal to re-publish books under your site for a profit."

show me a page where Google uses more than a sentence or so? If not, stop using the word re-publish cause it's ridiculous.

Tapolyai




msg:1237816
 3:56 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

With your theory on fair use, it would be perfectly legal to re-publish books under your site for a profit.

Darn it walkman! You beat me to the punch!

bears5122, I 100% agree with you that republishing the whole article by Google would be a theft, and they should be punished to the full extent of the law.

Fair use in the United States of America, where Google is sued, Title 17, Section 107 of the United States Copyright Act:
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

Google publishes less then 60 words(I ran a test for 3 days, 4 times a day) AND links directly to the article without frames or separate popup window, prominently displays the sources!

Did ANYONE read the article THEN do a fact check, or everyone just spouting off whatever they gather from this thread & other news sources?!

creepychris




msg:1237817
 3:56 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Also, about this robots.txt thing - that's so silly. Should I have to proactively search through my logs, parse user agents, then add them to a file just so that nobody uses my content illegaly - absolutely not.

Just deny all spiders then and don't bother with your logs. It is a practical easy solution. Robots.txt works. Anyways, it is a lot faster to deny Google than it is to send them a cease and desist letter.

figment88




msg:1237818
 4:07 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Without getting into the debate of whether Google News falls within fair use, I just wanted to point out that fair use is a wholly US concept.

No other country grants such extensive non-liscensed use of copyright material as the US under fair use. Google News is world-wide. It is perfectly legitimate for companies to sue in the US for the violation of foreign copyrights.

walkman




msg:1237819
 4:14 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

you're contradicting yourself. If it's legal in US, why sue here? Will a US federal judge use the French law to decide this case?

"No other country grants such extensive non-liscensed use of copyright material as the US under fair use. Google News is world-wide. It is perfectly legitimate for companies to sue in the US for the violation of foreign copyrights."

crisscross




msg:1237820
 4:51 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

This could be the beginning of the end for free-to-read news sites. The news agencies are beginning to see that the free distribution of their content is eroding their core business, in the same way that it happened to music. As the owners of original content the news agencies have a lot of power and are in some ways similar to the record companies/RIAA.

It is not a big step for AFP/Reuters/AP etc to forbid their news feeds from being published for free by their newspaper/news-site clients. In effect they can say that they will only supply to sites that charge subscriptions. That could be the excuse that news sites need to go to the subscription model, which is what they all want to do anyway.

There was some talk of a Paypal toolbar before. Combine a payment system (GooglePay?) with Google News and the Google Toolbar and you get a subscription gateway/payment system for online news. Perhaps that would make AFP happy again.

Tapolyai




msg:1237821
 5:03 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think Google should buy eBay w/Paypal. Then create a micro-payment system into PayPal, and let whoever want to charge for content.

weeks




msg:1237822
 10:19 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

We're going to have to start charging for some content. There is some very interesting work being done with micro-payments (again) that gives me hope we can do this without destroying flow of news on the web.

Google's AdSense is great for many, many web sites, but it stinks on news.

Fairla




msg:1237823
 5:13 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I actually think this is why Google needs to keep its news service (and its search) free. AFP can't argue that Google is charging for access to AFP's content, because Google isn't.

ggrot




msg:1237824
 5:49 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

This has nothing to do with robots.txt. If AFP is a subscription site and google was getting the news through the subscription, they could simply turn off the subscription by the same token.

The issue at stake is that AFP's content is being republished by many other newspapers which purchase that content. Think AP news in the US, most newspapers republish AP to some extent.

No robots.txt on AFP news' site is going to stop Google spider from downloading the same article from the New York Times. And in fact, if Google's website attributes the article to NYT instead of AFP, then it may not be giving fair references under fair use. NYT gets "credit" for AFP's article - meaning that AFP loses recognition potentially.

There is no way for AFP to technologically prevent google from using their content. Thats a bad argument in Google's favor. Google stealing content is also a bad argument against google for the same reasons as mentioned by others on this board - the use falls under fair use, and is no different than a title and snippet from a published webpage in SERPs.

I think Google will win this one because of the scope. I claim that if Google can't display a headline/sentence from a news article, they can't display a title/snippet from a webpage legally either. If they can't do that, then no search engine can list anything more than a url for each result without explicit permission - that will kill search (and many other fair use systems).

Tapolyai




msg:1237825
 6:29 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

An other point well made.

Although Google must abide by robots.txt as they have said they do and most often they do (yes we all have some bad days), AFP must make reasonable effort to protect their content.

They cannot claim that they tried everything. A simple .htaccess file would have blocked Google and provided clear access to their 600 clients.

If you recall the "Perfect 10 vs Google" case the Federal Court said that Google can display the image, as long as it is a reduction of the image.

I am sorry, but this case sounds like an other lawyer was bored at lunch eating a ham sandwitch, mayo and some provalone on fresh crisp bread and said "Hmm... I think I should sue Google, what do you think?" i.e. frivolous lawsuit.

Or it could be that the Google language tools is broken and they couldn't translate the French cease and desist letter...

tntpower




msg:1237826
 8:00 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Support APF kick G$

websitings




msg:1237827
 10:10 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

If I spidered APF for content and placed it on my site with a link back to APF, what would the general feeling amongst webmasters be?

Probably that I am thief and plagarist. I'm sure APF would see it that way.

Tapolyai




msg:1237828
 12:23 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

websitings:
If I spidered APF for content and placed it on my site with a link back to APF, what would the general feeling amongst webmasters be?

Probably that I am thief and plagarist. I'm sure APF would see it that way.

Fair use in the United States of America, where Google is sued,

...

Google publishes less then 60 words(I ran a test for 3 days, 4 times a day) AND links directly to the article without frames or separate popup window, prominently displays the sources!

It is irrelevant what you and I think. It is what the law is (or more precisely what the lawyers can get away with ;)).

On a side note please define what you consider plagiarism. On the other hand, an other word would fit your writing - libelous.

For me it's:
plagiarism

n 1: a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work 2: the act of plagiarizing; taking someone's words or ideas as if they were your own [syn: plagiarization, plagiarisation, piracy](source:WordNet 2.0, 2003 Princeton University)

Rosalind




msg:1237829
 3:20 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google publishes less then 60 words(I ran a test for 3 days, 4 times a day) AND links directly to the article without frames or separate popup window, prominently displays the sources!

Fair use doesn't, as far as I know, specify a word count. What if the entire article is only a 100-word snippet? (Not counting the fluff of navigation, footers and so on). Fair use isn't something that can easily be automated.

Tapolyai




msg:1237830
 3:58 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Fair use doesn't, as far as I know, specify a word count. What if the entire article is only a 100-word snippet? (Not counting the fluff of navigation, footers and so on). Fair use isn't something that can easily be automated.

Nor did I suggest that the 60 words was too many or too little. It was my personal test to see if they were excessive.:o

And yes, it can be automated.:)

yowza




msg:1237831
 5:52 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

The problem with an opt-out system is that you must block spiders on a one-by-one basis. I shouldn't have to opt-out of "Joe & Jane's News Headlines" or "Niche News Aggregator". If I have to block every spider in the world, I won't have time to do anything else.

Just because the internet is public doesn't mean that anyone can visit my site and borrow my content to enhance their website to make more money: that is not fair use.

Everyone who keeps talking about fair use, check out this fair use checklist: [copyright.iupui.edu...]

Opposing Fair Use: Commercial activity, Profiting from the use

Is Google profiting from the use of snippets of other people's content? Yes. Otherwise, why would they be doing it?

Fairla




msg:1237832
 6:57 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is like saying a bookstore is unfairly profiting from authors' work because it displays their book titles without paying authors for the right to display the titles. This is not how copyright works. Copyright doesn't give you the right to prevent people from telling others that your book/article/webpage whatever exists.

You can't copyright facts. "George Washington was president of the U.S." is a fact and you can't sue me for saying so, even if you once typed those exact words before I did.

You can't copyright your personal name and forbid others from mentioning it without your permission (although I think some people have tried this). And you can't claim that the title to your news article is copyrighted and that no one else can use it in referring to your article. That's what names and titles are for -- making it possible for people to describe things.

There is a big difference between reproducing an entire article and linking to an article using its headline and/or the first sentence or two. All the link does is make it possible for someone to access the article -- and all the link text does is give readers some idea what they're getting when they click.

Maybe syndication services are finding demand for their articles from publishers diminished because hundreds of other publishers have the same article and it's all on the Internet. But that doesn't mean Google is violating copyright by telling people the articles exist and linking to them.

This 89 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 89 ( 1 [2] 3 > >
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