Exclusive: Google Lawsuit Explained
Didja hear? Google is being sued for featuring content from web sites on its search and news services. Oh, the humanity!
I’m not making this up: A group of Belgian newspaper owners is demanding Google pay nearly $80 million for displaying headlines and excerpts of their stories on Google News and for archiving cached copies of pages on the search engine.
TechCult has exclusively obtained the following letter explaining the newspapers’ objections:
This letter is to inform you that we are filing a lawsuit over our content being on your sites. You did not have our permission to post headlines of our items on Google News or to archive our stories for your millions of search users. We insist you pay us $77 million in damages for the following reasons:
- Linking to our posts in Google News is the best exposure we get anywhere. It’s free marketing that any web developer in the world will kill to receive. It also drives thousands of users over to our site daily, which raises our total hit count and lets us charge more to advertisers. This, clearly, is unacceptable.
- Having those prominent Google News links also puts us in the same league as respectable publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. How could you do this to us?
- Your cached content in Google search provides a useful service to people trying to find information, and — in many cases — leads to them clicking back onto our site for further content. Once again, here you go bringing us traffic and helping everyone involved. Why won’t you cease and desist?
For all these reasons, we must insist you remove the aforementioned content and give us a bunch of money immediately. Clearly, as the dominant and most popular search site in America, you have no idea what you are doing and have not considered the legality of your services. Also, we like waffles.
Belgian Lawyer *
Well, Google, good luck with this one. Next time, maybe you’ll learn not to put the end-users’ and site owners’ needs first and instead focus on creating useless services that millions of people don’t enjoy on a daily basis.
* Disclaimer: This letter was not written by anyone affiliated with the lawsuit. It was, however, written by someone extremely good-looking.