Belgium: Francophone press goes out and back in Google Search

By EDRi · July 27, 2011

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Belgien: Google sperrt und entsperrt französischsprachige Zeitungen |]

As a result of Google’s conflict with Copiepresse, the search engine
announced on 15 July 2011 that it would not index titles from the Belgium
francophone press.

Google stated that in doing so, it only complied with the decision of the
Appeal Court of 5 May 2011 that backed a court decision of February 2011
forbidding Google to publish Belgium press articles on Google News and
Google Search, with a fine reaching 25 000 euro in case of non-compliance.

Google’s reaction looked like a punishment that would put some pressure on
Belgium’s francophone press as the measure actually went beyond the
court’s decision which only asked for the removal of Copiepresse articles
and not their complete erasing from the search engine.

The measure was however successful. “We would be happy to re-include
Copiepresse if they would indicate their desire to appear in Google Search
and waive the potential penalties,” said Google spokesman William Echikson.
Which, Copiepress did on 18 July 2011.

Le Soir and La Libre Belgique stated on their sites that an agreement had
been reached with Google that would re-index the excluded sites. “It is
necessary to distinguish the Google search engine from the Google news
service,” said an article on La Libre website adding: “The news editors do
not oppose having their content referenced by the Google search engine, they
refuse on the other hand for their informational content to be included in
Google News.”

Google censures the Francophone press (only in French, 15.07.2011)

Google re-indexes the Belgium press on its engine (up-date) (only in French,

Google will re-index the francophone press (only in French, 18.07.2011)

EDRi-gram: Google found guilty in Belgium for newspapers’ copyright
infringement (18.05.2011)