The Globe and Mail tells us that “Google loses copyright case in Belgium“. Apparently a court has now ruled in favour of Belgian newspapers that sued Google Inc., claiming that the Web search Internet search leader infringed copyright laws and demanded it remove their stories. They want only subscribers to be able to see their articles within their walled gardens. Presumably they do not wish searchers to find their contents by using search engines.
Google in the official Googleblog has no problems if that is their desire.
Google has a clear policy of respecting the wishes of content owners. If a newspaper does not want to be part of Google News, we remove their content from our index-all the newspaper has to do is ask. There is no need for legal action and all the associated costs.
However the ‘walled gardens‘ business model has not yet proved its long-term survivability for newspapers. Newspapers are with difficulty finding how best to operate in the open world of the Internet. Professional journalists do not always get it right as Corante points out in “The herd misses opportunities“.
The mainstream media believes that “user-generated content” has to come through their sites, their walled gardens of tightly controlled participation, so they miss the vastly larger opportunity that exists on the Internet as a whole.
It is interesting to speculate on how the traditional media will learn to live most profitably with that larger opportunity.