Wednesday, March 23, 2005

News about Google News

In the paper today. Google News is being taken to court by Le France-Presse for copyright infrigement. Apparently, some of the stories on Google News are taken from this french paper -and from Le France-Presse's subscribers only pages no less. This means (gasp) that people don't have to pay for the news. They can get it for free.

Of course France-Presse is ticked off, Somebody is giving away for free what they want to charge a premium for. That's the beauty of the internet- it breaks down real and imaginary boundaries. If people really want access to the information, they can get it.

Enter the courts. They come in after the fact to try and pass legislation, so that the big corporations can continue to protect their market share. It's mostly lip service though. I think the online music/movie downloading debacle has proven that people will continue to take what they want for free whenever possible (often at the expense of the honest internet users out there. Just ask Hamish over at cardboard spaceship)

"You cannot impose a law on a population that does not agree with it. It's on the books but not enforceable. "

Which makes for an interesting kettle of fish. US against THEM all over again. David (humble blogger) vs. Goliath (big corporate entity.)

Well, David won. Once.


Blogger Target Market said...

Hey Jay, this is an interesting story. I agree with your comments about freedom of information on the internet, but I'd also like to say that I don't feel particularly sorry for Google - it's not as if they're some struggling online indie magazine fighting to make ends meet. They are a huge company making buckets of money. What gives such a powerful organization the right to mooch off real journalists, regardless of whether of not these journalists work for another big company? I assume, since they are being sued, that they must have pulled the articles pretty much word for word. I'd be pissed too. Come on, Google, I agree with freedom of information, but don't be such lazy bastards. If you want to report the news, do it in your own words, or at least provide fair compensation to the paper whose story you took.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

This is a great point, and I'm glad to inspire discussion about this. I just used the Google example as a springboard because in some ways it does parallel the other big online issues - Apple vs bloggers for instance, but that is probably a better story. You're right - Google probably isn't as much a david as another Goliath. The reason I still thinks this matters though is that the outcome of this case (because it's so big) could really impact the little guy - namely us down here in the blogosphere. The implications are vast

4:43 PM  
Blogger Target Market said...

I definately see your point, and the Apple case *does* worry me. The Google case, though, seems like more of an intellectual property issue than a freedom of expression issue. So I don't think it will affect bloggers as much - unless your worried about our freedom to quote commercial news sources. That could be a concern.

5:55 PM  

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