On Earth, Belgium refers to a small country. Throughout the rest of the galaxy, Belgium is the most unspeakably rude word there is.
-Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
In the news today there is a report that a Belgian association of newspapers managed to get a court to order Google to remove all of the French- and German-language Belgium-based news items from Google News and the regular Google cache. The argument is copyright violation (debatable) and causing loss of ad revenue (very weird, considering the Google News only shows a few words from each news item and then sends users on their way to the original web site; if anything, they were getting more ad revenue from the users sent to them by Google).
It’s interesting that, at a time when most web site owners are thinking about how to be displayed more prominently on Google, some people seem to simply “not get it” and do their best to get out of it. It’s not clear to me, also, whether that association actually asked Google about being removed before going to court; shouldn’t the judicial system be a “last resort”,only to be used when a situation can’t be resolved amiably? Or am I the only one thinking that?