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France Applies Tax Pressure To Google For Republishing News Snippets

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the department-of-rent-seeking dept.

Google 350

Qedward writes "France may introduce a law to make Google pay to republish news snippets if it doesn't strike a deal with French news publishers before the end of the year, the office of French President François Hollande said. French publishers want to share in the revenue that Google earns from advertising displayed alongside their news snippets in search results. Readers are often satisfied by reading the headline and summary published by Google News, and don't feel the need to click through to the news site, the publishers say. In this way, Google profits and the content creators don't. The publishers want to be able to charge Google to compensate them for ad revenue losses."

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350 comments

Banned from Google? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818157)

The French really want to be removed from the internet...

Re:Banned from Google? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818187)

Google is not the internet you moron

Happily used the internet before google existed and continue to use the internet without google

Re:Banned from Google? (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818419)

Google is not the internet you moron

If you make a piece of information available through the Internet, and you have opted out of allowing it to be indexed in the search engines that index resources available through the Internet, have you really made the piece of information available?

Re:Banned from Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818523)

... Erm, yes! What do you think URL's are!?

Just because I'm not in the Phone book doesn't mean people can't call me.

Re:Banned from Google? (4, Insightful)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818621)

... Erm, yes! What do you think URL's are!?

Just because I'm not in the Phone book doesn't mean people can't call me.

If your business revolved around people calling you it means your business would probably fail.

Re:Banned from Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41819001)

Well: Janitors, Pizza Delivery, Gardeners, Pest Control, Taxicabs... we all now they've failed at their business model.

Re:Banned from Google? (2)

similar_name (1164087) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818705)

Yes but it wouldn't be very bright for a business to have an unlisted number.

Re:Banned from Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818771)

Search engines are not the internet. Google is not the only search engine.

What instead of Google? (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41819045)

Which web search engine have these control-freak news sites been promoting instead of Google?

Re:Banned from Google? (3, Insightful)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year and a half ago | (#41819061)

Search engines are not the internet. Google is not the only search engine.

Indeed, but who says they won't try to strongarm the other major search providers the same way? It's the same logic chain : "hey, you're making money off of showing people some of our content, we want a piece!" Want to take wagers on how many search providers will agree to that? They're already providing these paranoid schmucks with a valuable service by indexing their content and making it available to inquiring netizens across the globe, why would they then agree to pay to provide this service?

The French content providers could simply request that Google and other search providers only show the headline with no summary info, that would seem to work. Trouble is, if you don't show the end user enough to confirm that your article has the info they're looking for, they'll just move on to the next item in the search results. I guess that's simply the consequences of greed.

These guys had better be confident in the fidelity and longevity of their already subscribed user base, otherwise they're shooting themselves in the foot with this move.

Re:Banned from Google? (2)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#41819129)

Just throw your garbage any old place like I used to do.

Well, I suppose Google could just turn off google.fr or whatever it is....and see how they like that.

Or, I guess maybe they could just blacklist all the complaining news agencies and not index their sites at all and see how the French news agencies and leaders liked that...?

How about France try to invent the next Google or Google-like successful internet company, and then they can tax the living hell out of that all to their hearts delight, eh?

Re:Banned from Google? (2)

aleph (14733) | about a year and a half ago | (#41819047)

But that's not the case. Google honours such requests.

They want to force Google to index them *and* pay them. (Comments from Eric Schmidt that Google might have to stop indexing the sites if such a law was passed, was decried as a "threat")

Minitel (4, Funny)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818205)

That's o.k. - They still have Minitel.

Re:Minitel (4, Informative)

jmauro (32523) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818247)

Nope. It shut down on 30 June 2012 [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Banned from Google? (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818225)

Not quite. They want to get paid by force since they haven't tried to earn money via adapting to changes to technology.

Re:Banned from Google? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818925)

That is the only comment I have seen that gets to the heart of the matter.

Old method, can't do the new work, get to your lobbyists to get the government to force someone else to pay you for the work you can't do.

From a realistic point of view, staying in France makes no sense unless you can make a profit over the additional costs the Socialist Government is going to level. I am sure most of the world can live with out French new snippets and the ones who have to have them can pay for the i net delivered French newspapers.

Almost a non-story.

Re:Banned from Google? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818407)

The French really want to be removed from the internet...

Its a vast Yahoo conspiracy.

Re:Banned from Google? (5, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818545)

I wonder if they've ever heard of "robots.txt"?

Last I heard, Google was honoring it....

Re:Banned from Google? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818629)

I wonder if they've ever heard of "robots.txt"?

Last I heard, Google was honoring it....

But then they would get zero money and disappear from google search's results. What they want is being indexed by google *and* being payed for it (because google displays there content on google news).

robots.txt doesn't allow this.

Re:Banned from Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41819101)

So Google will remove them from google news while indexing them (weightedly of course) at 150,000,000 result for the topic on their page. Sounds simple.

Re:Banned from Google? (4, Insightful)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818645)

I wonder if they've ever heard of "robots.txt"?

Last I heard, Google was honoring it....

That would work fine if they wanted to be removed from the index. They want to receive Google's indexing service free and they also want Google to pay them for the privilege of giving them free indexing services. I bet if Google dropped them from the indexes for a few weeks, they'd be begging to get back in.

Re:Banned from Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818777)

Exactly this.

We want the ipad, but we don't want to pay for it, so we'll just use force of law to make you give it to us for free.

It's like a dystopian nightmare come true.

Re:Banned from Google? (1)

Bujang Lapok (1368641) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818865)

Better yet, make it opt-in only for the French. Their sites don't get indexed, unless they agree to non-chargeable access for indexing. Perhaps this can be accomplished by extending Sitemaps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitemaps)

Re:Banned from Google? (3, Interesting)

jalopezp (2622345) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818967)

The French newspapers know what they're doing. They don't want to be unlisted from Google, that would be a terrible idea. If you're not listed in the largest search engine, no one can find you and you're in trouble. But if they all threaten to unlist together, then it's Google who is in trouble in France. Google is in the business of linking people to content, and it can't do that without any content, so the newspapers (as long as they act together, and especially if the government backs them) have a foothold to bargain with Google. If Google wants to keep its share of the French market, it can't afford to lose the news agencies - little as it may care about losing just one.

That said though, I don't think Google will have to pay. Sense will prevail in the end.

Re:Banned from Google? (1)

silanea (1241518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41819111)

The danger in this is that a concerted Google boycott from established news outlets may well provide an incredible opportunity for businesses who actually "get" the Internet but were previously drowned out by big name publications to reach a huge audience with virtually no competition. Would they really risk that?

Re:Banned from Google? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818703)

Their content helps make Google rich. They're fine with that but want their cut.

Re:Banned from Google? (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818779)

Their content helps make Google rich. They're fine with that but want their cut.

Or you can spin it "Google provides a free service of directing traffic to their site."

Re:Banned from Google? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818789)

Three strike law applies to France => two more strikes remaining until Google stops indexing them.

Re:Banned from Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41819039)

Actually, they want the inter removed from the Frenchnet.

If it's really just snippets (4, Insightful)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818167)

If it's really just snippets of a larger value proposition that people are allegedly willing to pay for, then I think this is better known elsewhere in the world as "free advertising".

Sorry France. Love your healthcare system, but this is just silly.

Re:If it's really just snippets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818557)

Does France have those newspaper vending machines that you can read half of the front page? Oh no! Maybe they should be charging everyone who reads the snippits on the front page of it without purchasing a newspaper!

Here's a hint (5, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818183)

If people can get all they want out of a headline and a paragraph, maybe you should focus on making the article have more *content* and less fluff.

Re:Here's a hint (5, Interesting)

HexaByte (817350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818231)

Yes, indeed. Will these newspapers now put their publications behind darkened glass paper dispensers, so that no one will just look at the headline and decide no to buy it?

"We want free advertising of our product, but don't want you to make any money doing it for us!" Google should consider charging them for advertising they're giving them.

Re:Here's a hint (5, Insightful)

Baron_Yam (643147) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818465)

"Google should consider charging them for advertising they're giving them"

I like this solution. Google should announce that they will be billing back any fees levied in France against the newspapers they index, plus a bit for administrative overhead. Any paper that doesn't like it can be banned from Google's index.

That's the Wall Street Journal solution (2)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818879)

Will these newspapers now put their publications behind darkened glass paper dispensers

The paper version of the Wall Street Journal has been doing this for decades: They only show headlines and article summaries above the fold, counting on you to want to buy the paper to read more.

Re:Here's a hint (2)

Inda (580031) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818377)

Those people would be me.

If the headline says "Jacko is dead" that's enough information for me to start a real conversation with colleagues, friends and the wife. Being a gobby know-it-all is not good when you want a proper discussion.

If it's a subject with a bit more meaning, I'll try the BBC first, Sky News second, ITN, C4 - all news providers I've already paid for. Maybe The Telegraph, The Sun, The Daily Fail, if the subject interests me. The chances are it's on Twitter, G+ and the ilk too.

Local news is the only news where it's worth reading all the text. RSS feeds cover those nicely. Funnily enough, the local sites often have adverts to local events, which I have more chance of using.

Big news - you are dead. Get over it.

How about slashdot? (1)

lookatmyhorse (2566527) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818525)

I bet most of people here don't RTFA. And TFS in slashdot is quite large compared to google news.

Re:Here's a hint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818635)

Well if people can get all they want out of a headline and a paragraph they might as well give up, slashdot's got hte market cornered there...

I am one of those news surfing guy (2)

aepervius (535155) | about a year and a half ago | (#41819095)

And you are wrong. It does not matter how much content they add. Look, most of the news, many of us (and I would dare , the majority) do not care at all about the detail, the title line are enough. "PSG win 1-0" "Hamas put a bomb in tel aviv" "Obama announce a new tax". "greece economy sink even more" they are news for which i will look at the title , may even skim the summary, then not even *bother* reading the in depth article.

As such the newspaper are right. I read google summary and the newspaper, despite having done the job of putting the article, will get nothing, whereas google will simply copy a few summary paragraph and get the doug.


Now you could argue all the way that the type of viewer like me is rare (I don't think so, from my colleague i know a lot of "skimmer" like that) but the bottom line at the end is google taking a *bit* of content from the newspaper, get advertising money potentially, and the newspaper *nada*.


Now it could be that if google drop the indexing of the article of the newspaper , the newspaper suffers in readership, but I am not sure of that. If I can't skim off google, I would be forced to go for the real source.

Strike a deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818193)

Bwhahaha, great joke! But Google may go in the street for a strike if this law is voted :P

Re:Strike a deal (2)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818747)

The French government being in a dead end, having to find money wherever it is, and Google, making a lot of money, represents an ideal milk cow. In return, Google would be in a dead end if they accept the French tax: the rest of the world will want their share of the cake.

The French will come back (4, Interesting)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818197)

I use GoogleNews, and it's a great way to learn about the world. Newspapers from different countries have made the same complaint as French papers are doing now. A few weeks/months later, after they see their website 'hits' go way down, they ask to be part of GopgleNews again. I expect the same is going to happen here.

Re:The French will come back (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818285)

Don't underestimate the French, they have a record of mixing up stubborness and arrogancy.

Re:The French will come back (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818587)

If Google stops indexing all French news sources, it strikes me that any attempt to go after it after that must certainly be a violation of international trade laws.

Re:The French will come back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818775)

I wonder how important international readership is for online French newspapers?
Surely their main revenue audience is the French public to whom the French newspapers can sell advertising to.
I also can't see how French advertising would be of interest to a international audience,
I can see however how a French newspaper would be not happy with an American company diluting it from it's own local revenue collection.

I think that is more the issue here, not the fact that French newspapers would lose worldwide hits.
If they would lose global internet traffic I don't think they would really care.
It is the loss of French readers that hurts them most.

Re:The French will come back (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818935)

There are still sizable Francophone populations in the Americas, Africa, East Asia and Oceania.

Google.... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818199)

Should just drop their sites from their search results,

Re:Google.... (1)

lintuxos (1230750) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818323)

I agree with this. Right now, some people do click the link to go to the news site, so these sites are generating some revenue from Google links with their own advertising. If Google removes the links, then the news sites lose.

Re:Google.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818919)

Yes, but they're French so they don't matter anyway.

But what about Mutual Benefits (5, Insightful)

happy_place (632005) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818209)

I wouldn't know the majority of news sites if it weren't for Google's aggregation. So I wouldn't click their sites at all. This seems like they're wanting compensation for something that already compensates them by listing them and making their site more visible.

Re:But what about Mutual Benefits (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818405)

I wouldn't know the majority of news sites if it weren't for Google's aggregation. So I wouldn't click their sites at all. This seems like they're wanting compensation for something that already compensates them by listing them and making their site more visible.

Actually the payment should flow both ways. If the French (and Belgian, and German) Publishers want to free-ride google and charge google for the pleasure, then I don't really see why google shouldn't charge them for the privilege. Could get to be quite fun.

Re:But what about Mutual Benefits (0)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818435)

I think some of these news sites would prefer that readers come in through their front page rather than through a news article.

Re:But what about Mutual Benefits (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818535)

Except of course that most people who read the article have never even heard of the paper before seeing it listed on Google.

Re:But what about Mutual Benefits (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818699)

most people who read the article have never even heard of the paper

Readers have heard of their own city's local paper. Perhaps the big papers are trying to get readers to ask their local paper to syndicate national stories from one of the big papers, just as a lot of U.S. papers syndicate national stories from Associated Press or Reuters. It's the same reason that cable TV channels run ads to "call your cable operator" about adding the company's new sister channel.

Re:But what about Mutual Benefits (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818797)

Yes, that is true. For example, I have heard of my local papers. I never go to their websites unless one of their articles goes up on one of the news aggregators I regularly visit because they so rarely publish anything I am interested in reading.

Re:But what about Mutual Benefits (1)

PIBM (588930) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818889)

I've noticed a lot of news sites that redirects traffic based on the referer and you end up on the front page if you followed a link from google news. Thing is, I actually dislike that and generally close the site, which is the opposite of what usually happen when I go to read an article and end up crawling their site.

Don't see the argument really (5, Insightful)

krelvin (771644) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818229)

If a site doesn't want Google to make money off of their content headlines... then they can easily opt out of having Google pick up their data and index it.

But NO... they WANT the exposure and get a cut too.... if the law is passed, cut them off. Simple

Re:Don't see the argument really (0)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818439)

So they want to change the opt-out to an opt-in. I see no problems with that. In fact I would greatly agree with it.

It is a pity that this was not the case from the start.

Re:Don't see the argument really (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818619)

This would be pretty stupid.

The internet was and is opt-in: one opts in by putting up a public website and opening web server port to the internet. Afterwards, everyone - including you, search bots, mash up services etc. - can read it and do everything the copyright laws allow them to.

Internet is meant to be crosslinked and accesible by default. If you wish to make your site only for your limited circle - you're welcome to use access restrictions. But most sites are meant to be read and linked to.

Re:Don't see the argument really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818633)

So they want to change the opt-out to an opt-in.

Not at all. They want Google to keep indexing their news. They would be very upset if Google dropped them.
But they want to get paid for it too.

And google should charge (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818267)

French newspapers for every article readers click through to....

this isnt limited to only google (0)

bs0d3 (2439278) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818271)

imagine if slashdot was sent a bill everytime a french link was referenced

Re:this isnt limited to only google (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818375)

Slashdot should send France a bill for all users from France accessing Slashdot. Google could paywall France as well. Google and Slashdot could use the money to pay the French newspapers' bills.

The folks in France could use their powers of democracy to prevent this from escalating, but I doubt that they will. This is just a classic Mafia-style shakedown. Google has money, and French newspapers want a "taste" or a "piece of the action."

Google will not let France get away with this, though. Otherwise, Google will end up paying tribute to every postage stamp country in the world.

Then take your ball and go home. Nobody cares. (1)

AbominousSalad (1774194) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818287)

Goodbye, France. Goodbye, Brazil. Congratulations on your decision to cease to exist.

Re:Then take your ball and go home. Nobody cares. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818351)

They'll still exist. Admittedly google is all seeing and all powerful, but they are not the internet.

I imagine the papers will come back in the same way News International did.

The flip side is though, that if the news papers cease to exist then google can't place ads next to the scraped content so they'll loose money too

Avoiding the real question (2)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818289)

Readers are often satisfied by reading the headline and summary published by Google News, and don't feel the need to click through to the news site, the publishers say.

I'm certainly from this group.

However this view avoids the real question: How is online content going to be paid for?

Newspapers already cannot make enough money off of online advertising to pay for the creation of their content.

I don't see internet users lining up for (a) micropayments or (b) some kind of universal subscription, and they're definitely not thinking about (c) maintain subscriptions to each of the 50 newspapers and magazines who post articles they want to read.

Seriously, why can't I get a Slashdot or Google subscription for $50 a year to read all these articles without ads and with the ability to retrieve them infinitely?

Your average newspaper's website would have to improve in navigability and reliability too.

There's a lot more to this question than one lawsuit can answer.

Re:Avoiding the real question (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818529)

Maybe if the average newspaper contained 'content' which wasn't freely available on the web or had more intellectual content than 'Temporary Star X has bought a new dress', people might be willing to pay for them.

That's a very good point: empty "content" (2)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818673)

That's a really excellent point. People have been complaining for decades or centuries that the news is either contentless, or yellow journalism, or salacious.

There should be a news source for people who really don't care about Honey Boo-Boo. Usually, that's a high-quality newspaper like the Wall Street Journal or New York Times.

I wouldn't mind if we lost all the "news" that was contentless, yellow or salacious (gossip). The perception is that many more people "want" that news than not.

It could be that as newspapers go bankrupt, we see another part of the equation: more people are willing to pay for real news than for the Honey Boo-Boo, or rather, that people who like Honey Boo-Boo "news" aren't willing to pay for it.

robots.txt (3, Interesting)

kenorland (2691677) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818303)

Maybe newspapers who don't want to get republished by Google should learn about "robots.txt"? Granted, it's more than a decade old, but it still works.

Re:robots.txt (-1, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818671)

It's not about robots.txt. It's about them getting $$$$ from Google. If they wanted to block Google, they could. They don't want to, they just want cash. Who can blame them? Google is a megacorp of the kind that people protest all the time. Oh, boo hoo, cry me a river because the megacorp finally ran into a country where they couldn't buy the laws they wanted.

Re:robots.txt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818679)

i use to work to work for a french newspapers website : they spend a lot of money to have a high rank on google ... this whole story is just madness.

Re:robots.txt (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818753)

The newspapers WANT to be republished . . . AND they want to be paid for it. It's like wanting to be a member of a club, and insisting that the club pay you to be a member.

The whole thing is just about money. Google has it. The French newspapers don't. So the French government is looking for a way to channel money from Google to their newspapers.

I have an idea that would increase the readership of French newspapers . . . they could publish in English.

Re:robots.txt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818769)

newspapers who don't want to get republished by Google

No such thing. They want their news indexed, and they want to get paid for it.

ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818343)

If google is guilty of copyright infringement, then so are newsagents showing copies of the paper in their storefronts.

Re:ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818373)

You forgot /.

This summary, just like many others, is directly copy-pasted from TFA - so pay up, Dice!

LOL (2)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818397)

I wonder if France realizes if they do this, Google will just pull french news sources from their site.
It's a Lose/Lose situation, Google has less news, these french sites get significantly less traffic.
Sure they might be complaining they don't get much, but i can guaran-fucking-tee you they'll get less without Google.

Re:LOL (2)

Talderas (1212466) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818581)

France realizes it. Google flat out told them if the law passes they will delist the French news organizations.

France's response? "You don't threaten a democratically elected government."

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818727)

The government missed the right word: it's not a threat. It's a promise.
Google was nice enough to warn them and I hope will stick to its promise.

F: "We considers doing B."
G: "If B occurs, then A will be the consequence."
F: "You don't threaten..." ...
F does B.
G does A : "Told you so."

Re:LOL (1)

Massacrifice (249974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41819119)

"You don't threaten a democratically elected government."

Quite right. They are threatening the french newspaper corporations, not the government. Maybe some of these companies are state-owned. Tough shit.

"content creators"??? (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818459)

Legitimate news reports don't "create" anything. You can't "create" facts... you can only observe them and record them. You can't really own a fact either.

Or are they suggesting that french news reporters somehow also manufacture the facts?

Re:"content creators"??? (1)

Massacrifice (249974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41819143)

What is being monetized when publishing news is reputation. Anybody can report "facts" but will you trust them?

The usual black and white responses (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818473)

And so the usual flood of obtuse comments along the lines of "If the newspapers don't want Google using their content, ban them in robots.txt", as if the only two options are Google gets to use their stories for free, or Google is blocked from using them. Utterly failing to grasp there is a middle-way, which is "Google share some of the profit they make from the newspapers content and everyone wins".

Re:The usual black and white responses (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818509)

Sounds good. And the newspapers can share some of the profit they make from Google pointing people toward their stories, then everyone wins.

Re:The usual black and white responses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41819089)

I second that, google should get a per access and per registration bonus from these sites. And google would divide Ad revenue between all sites that are on the results list and give the french their part. Of course I think most french newspapers don't want to share their profits because they're utterly crap and don't make much.

Re:The usual black and white responses (1)

aleph (14733) | about a year and a half ago | (#41819097)

Of course that would require a newspaper to make a profit... I don't think squeezing tech companies is a long term viable business strategy though.

Sounds fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818479)

Maybe while they're at it they should make the news websites share their revenue with Google if that revenue originated from a search. We're trying to be fair and not for example stuff our own corporations' pockets, right? Right?

If they don't want google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818511)

to carry their news, google should happily comply.

The result should be sufficient to discourage anyone else from trying it again.

Hollande's strategy: sneaky taxes. (4, Insightful)

CharmElCheikh (1140197) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818521)

Francois Hollande's government has been pulling new creative taxes out of their asses for a little while now. That one's completely silly but it's not the only one. Another one is a new tax on beer. I guess that's how he figures he will raise France problems: raising even more taxes, yey! That's new and usually very popular, right? The fact that it's very sneaky could have worked... if people didn't notice. Some taxes are too silly to get unnoticed. Some others are surfacing up, like a new 15% tax on rents. People are getting pissed. He'd better put these taxes to EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT use or else he's out at next election.

Re:Hollande's strategy: sneaky taxes. (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818969)

Francois Hollande's government has been pulling new creative taxes out of their asses for a little while now.

+5, Informative, thank you. This story sounded like a sneaky populist tax all along.

Another one is a new tax on beer.

Wow, that one ought to rile Slashdot folks . . .

Now, having just returned from a vacation in France, and meeting some really nice folks there, I understand de Gaulle's 246 kinds of cheese comment. But why does the stinkiest cheese always seem to end up as President?

I thought the global news source was google (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818585)

The papers just write down what they read online.

The right to be stupid (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818653)

I have to side with the French newspapers on this one. They own the copyrights to the material they write, and should be able to (try to) charge for others, including Google, to use that.

As many people have pointed out, it's hard to see how this will work to the newspapers' advantage. They are saying "no" to free advertising. But, if they want to assert their rights and cling to an obsolete 20th-century business model, good luck to 'em. AFAIK the law is on their side.

Now if I were a shareholder in French media companies I might feel this decision was not in my best interest. But, happily, I'm not!

Re:The right to be stupid (1)

sildur (1383455) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818875)

They do not need a free advertising which translates in no views for them. Remember, they think people only read the summaries, which is totally wrong, as you can check on slashdot, where people does not even read the summary.

On the other hand, threatening french people to stop indexing french sites will not work. They will create a french baidu and they will forget about google. Nowadays, google does not have anything special, it is only popular. You can create a google clone if the original does not suit your needs.

Re:The right to be stupid (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818921)

Have you ever used Google News [google.com] ? It uses just the title and first sentence of the article. It is basically a news search instead of a general search with a news feed of the most recent entries. If don't know if their are Fair Use laws in France but I don't see why Google would owe the news sites anything. They don't even have ads on the site. My guess is that they only run it to encourage people to use their other products that do have ads or cost something.

Re:The right to be stupid (3, Insightful)

sFurbo (1361249) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818963)

They own the copyrights to the material they write, and should be able to (try to) charge for others, including Google, to use that.

No, they should be able to stop Google from using it if they don't like the terms. If only there was some easy way to politely tell Google not to index certain pages [google.com] . Then the french newspapers could do that, if they don't want certain readers to read what they have freely put on the web.

New paradigm for French news headlines (2)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818835)

If Google won't play ball, expect French news headlines and first sentences to start sounding generic:

Lawmakers vote today

Today's traffic

Tomorrow's weather

Defendant hears decision from judge

The real "news" will be 2 or 3 sentence down.

Countersue! (1)

jd659 (2730387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41819019)

Since Google has some expenses associated with displaying headlines and summaries, they should just countersue the French publishers for providing the exposure service. The mediation could resolve this as "no one pays anyone", just as the current case.

Cut access to google search (1)

jd659 (2730387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41819037)

Cut free access to Google search from the IPs of all the French publishers! Let's see how much news they can write without Google search.

Headlines or content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41819103)

Satisfied reading headlines... Maybe. But what those publishers miss is that i might be just as satisfied reading the headlines from their site.

However, -looking at the dutch situation- a number of publishers put up that amount of nonsense on their site. From ads, in full colour, preferably with sound or video, to other non-relevant contents. If i'm interested in politics i'm not interested in the royal gossip.

So, as far i see, it's really the papers themselve here that miss the opportunity of 'bringing the content the user wants'. Google, on the other hand, understands what the user wants. Just, simple content, without 'screaming'. Proper use of whitespace. In sane catagories.

The fact that google 'aggregrates' does not matter at all. There's one dutch site that, more or less, follows the same guidelines. Clear layout. No overly abuse of advertisements. And this site, whilst having no printed media, is a big success. And as far as the big -printed- newspapers go, personally i tend to avoid them.

For me, as user/internetter, it does not really matter if i click on a link to read and get redirected to a page on the same site or on another site. What does matter though is, if after clicking, i get welcomed by a full-screen popup ad. And a questionaire asking the 'most valued customer' what i think of their side. Meanwhile a video ad playing in the background, forcing me to lower the volume. Or better, close the entire page entirely.

It's really the publishers themself to blame for not delivering the content that _I_ want. Google, redirecting, etc. has nothing to do with it. Make a great website and visitors will come and keep coming. Make a sucky website and visitors will stay away. And, as enough others point out here - Google only brings traffic. If you fail to make a random visitor a recurring visitor - then it's your own website that s*, not Google.

Ads? (2)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41819131)

What ads? I don't get any ads with my Google News headline pages.

I guess if France wants their percentage of zero .....

If you can't win, legislate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41819137)

Chances are the law will pass and Google will stop indexing and drop them from the search.

The publishers will then be pissed off their money making scheme has failed but rather than remove the law, they will simply legislate harder! Attempting to sue Google if the publication or a reference to the publication appears in any cached page or possibly making the law retroactive.

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