Courts in Belgium Rule Against Google and Linking

Somewhere I’m thinking Rupert Murdoch might be contemplating moving his corporate offices to Belgium. A few days ago the Belgian Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that essentially says Google infringes copyright by linking to Belgian newspapers, and thus denies them revenue.

Essentially Google needs to remove links from any of the papers and is subject to a daily fine if it doesn’t comply. Google of course says it is completely compliant with the law.


Commentary on this is ranging all over the map saying that Google should boycott Belgium, to this is once again a case where what happens in the world of technology has just moved faster than the laws are structured to regulate and protect.

Regardless, for those who believe in the link economy and what search engines do as a normal course of doing business, this ruling sets a pretty dangerous precedent.

You can read more about the particulars of this here and here and John Dvorak has a pretty humorous take on this that actually displays some good common sense.