CEO Spanfeller Attacks Google, Stumbles Into His Own Cesspool

Another publisher is complaining that Google isn't giving them their "fair share" -- this time Forbes CEO Jim Spanfeller. Google makes $60 million off the Forbes brand, he claims (with no proof), and boosting "quality publishers" like Forbes would help Eric Schmidt's web sewage problem. This is from the publication that sells paid links that helps the sewage rise in Google? I've already dissected some of the misconceptions that Spanfeller and other publishers have about Google in my Sorry, Tom Curley: Don’t Expect A Google Ranking Boost For The AP post from last week. This time, I'l [...]

Sorry, Tom Curley: Don’t Expect A Google Ranking Boost For The AP

Apparently talks between Google and the Associated Press aren't going well, or so says Forbes today, with AP chief executive Tom Curley threatening to take his content and play elsewhere. Where that will be is hard to say. Part of the AP's original issue with Google was that AP's own member publications would reprint AP material (which they're allowed to do as members), causing there to be no single source that could benefit from AP traffic. Google News Now Hosting Wire Stories & Promises Better Variety In Results covers how after a 2006 deal was struck, AP stories started bei [...]

AP Becomes “Bad Cop” To “Protect” Newspaper Content Against “Misappropriation”

The Associated Press announced an aggressive new policy whereby it is going to try and get more money for newspaper content online or take legal action against "copyright violators" and those that won't pay. From the AP's own press release: The Associated Press Board of Directors today announced it would launch an industry initiative to protect news content from misappropriation online. AP Chairman Dean Singleton said the news cooperative would work with portals and other partners who properly license content – and would pursue legal and legislative ac [...]

Fall Cornucopia Of Linking News

Here we go again... The Associated Press (AP) is suing news aggregation site Moreover and parent company VeriSign, claiming copyright infringement for, among other things, linking to the AP news without permission (here's the complaint in PDF format). In an awesome bit of newsbot irony, you can read all the gory details via Reuters. This particular lawsuit is every bit as stupid as all the others we link builders have faced over the years. I was Moreover's contract link builder for a long time during the late nineties and I worked my tail off to help them became what they are today, so I r [...]

Google News Now Hosting Wire Stories & Promises Better Variety In Results

Today, Google News will begin offering articles from several major wire services and news agencies hosted on its own site, rather than sending readers away from Google. The move is part of licensing agreements that have been stuck over the past year. Google News is also promising better duplicate story detection, so that the original source of a news article should be more likely to get visitors and readers get a better experience by not stumbling over the same story hosted by different publications. Google made a much publicized content deal with the Associated Press last year in the wake o [...]

Google Denies New UK News Search Deal

Google reach deals with news websites from the Sunday Herald reports that Google has reached a deal with several large UK newsgroups to carry content on Google News, but Google tells me no such deals have been agreed. "It is categorically no," said spokesperson Jessica Powell. "We don't pay to index news content." Of course, Google has struck deals with news providers to use content in ways beyond what it considers to be fair use. It could be that the Sunday Herald report is covering something like this. However, Google says it has not signed any deals of this nature re [...]

Belgian Papers Back In Google; Begin Using Standards For Blocking

Belgian newspapers that sued Google to be removed from its index are now back in, having agreed to use the commonly-accepted blocking standards that they initially rejected as not being legal. Google and the group representing the papers, Copiepresse, have issued a joint statement. That's below, along with a look at how this is a victory for Google, which has had to settle a series of similar lawsuits through agreements. Let's start with the joint statement: Internet users interested in Belgian news and users of Google’s search engine may have noticed today that the websites of the Belg [...]

Google: Sued Again Over “Bad” Listing

Building Contractor Sues Google for Indexing Consumer Complaint from Wired highlights yet another case where a someone wants to sue Google over how they are listed. Cases like these have lost in the past, but people keep trying. In this case, New Jersey building contractor RSA Homes is upset that a search for "RSA Homes" returns a page from Rip Off Report that is critical of RSA Homes in bold. The result looks like this: RSA Homes demanding that Google remove the page. It remained up. Back in October of last year, Eric Goldman reported how Google won a similar suit filed by Ma [...]

A “New Deal” For Online News & Search Engines?

Investment pundits have been scratching their heads this week over billionaire investor Sam Zell's $8.2-billion purchase of Tribune Corp., publisher of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, and owner of other old-media properties. Newspapers have been bleeding cash and losing both money and eyeballs to online news, job and classified sites over the past several years. So what does Zell, regarded as a legendary market timer, know that makes him willing to pay up for the Tribune when prospects for the business look so glum? In a speech at Stanford Law School last night, Zell offered s [...]

AFP & Google Settle Over Google News Copyright Case

The most significant copyright case against Google News, that filed by Agence France-Presse back in March 2005, has now ended. Google has signed a licensing agreement with AFP that settles the suit. News from the AFP here. The statement from both companies has the usual spin that this is about "new" uses rather than Google having done wrong. Some background on that, below. Back in August 2006, Google signed an agreement with the Associated Press. The AP hadn't sued Google over news usage, but it had made noises. Google told me at the time: The license in this agreement provides [...]

Dissecting Microsoft Slams At Google As Copyright Infringer

Last October, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer gave us a taste of how Microsoft was going to position Google as a copyright leech. Today, Microsoft launched a full-out assault on the company. Google deserves some of this, no doubt. But the idea as Microsoft as some altruistic copyright savior deserves some critical analysis, as well. Below, I'll dissect Microsoft's slams against Google, pointing out where they can be redirected back at Microsoft itself. But overall, I remain in agreement that Google should shift book search to an opt-in basis when dealing with copyrighted works. As noted, last Octobe [...]

Are You Putting Web Search Results at Risk with Paid Advertising?

If you bid on keywords for a term or phrase that you rank well for in a search engine, might your organic result be filtered in some instances, when your ad appears on the same page? A newly granted Microsoft patent is the first I recall seeing which discusses such a possible interaction based upon the appearance of paid listings and Web search listings for the same page (URL) on a single search engine results page. The patent, Systems and methods for removing duplicate search engine results, explores filtering organic results when there's more than one URL pointing to the same page (i.e., h [...]

Australian Court Rules Against Linking; Search Engines Don’t Need To Panic

Australian court rules against MP3 link site from covers how an Australian court has decided that linking to some content can be illegal, in the right circumstances. In the right circumstances! That part is important. It's easy to read the headline and come away thinking that search engines (or anyone, potentially) are going to find life much harder in Australia if they are deemed to be illegally linking to content such as music or articles posted online without a content owners permission. However, I think the case looks pretty specific to this particular MP3 search site, which the [...]

AOL Video Search Sued By Evel Knievel For Distributing Kanye West’s Music Video

Steve Bryant reports that Evel Knievel has sued not only Kanye West for making a music video that allegedly infringes on his likeness but has also sued AOL for helping distribute that video. AOL Video Search had clips of the music video come up for searches on "Evel Knievel." When AOL was given the suit, they removed the music video they apparently hosted but it still comes up hosted elsewhere in their crawler-based search results. Oh, and Steve posted a YouTube video of the music video, I kinda like it. :) [...]

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