March 18, 2005 4:33 AM PST

Agence France Presse sues Google over news site

French news service seeks damages of at least $17.5 million and an order barring Google News from displaying its content.

The story "Agence France Presse sues Google over news site" published March 18, 2005 at 4:33 AM is no longer available on CNET News.

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How do they get to the restricted material?
How do they get to the restricted material?

If the material requires subscription, how does google's robot get to that material? apparently that material is publicly avilable and doesn'r require subscription, or else google wouldn't be able to reach it!

Also, if the news agency wants to make some materials available online for the public without subscription but unavailable to Google's robot, it can do it by describing the restrictions using a robots.txt file. AFAIK Google respets those. If they are using the web, they should follow internet standards. By failing to use a robots.txt files they are indicating to Google that it's OK to index the material.
Of course it doesn't mean they don't have copyright or that it's not their material as copyright owners. It just means that Google has the right to assume that they follow accepted standards for web publication, and the content (or lack of content) of their robots.txt file implies permission by the copyright holder to index the material!
Posted by hadaso (468 comments )
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robot.txt....
Using robot.txt files is no guarantee that the robot will listen to it. These are so easy to ignore and is probably for the most part not worth fooling with.

It also doesn't matter if any of their stuff is made public without requiring subscription. The material is still copyrighted and they have every right to tell google they can't use it. It seems to me more and more that the search engines are stealing more and more.

I for one would no want google to use the information on my sit on theirs. I don't go to all of the trouble and hard work that I do to help improve googles business. The stuff on my site is my property and available free or not I have the right to decide how it is used by others.

I don't like google, yahoo or msn and I think they are all crooks. This just shows that they are. They don't even have the nads to stop using something they don't own when asked by the owners. How can we trust them for anything else. Crooks all of them.

Robert
Posted by (336 comments )
Link Flag
The assumption that absence of a robots.txt file implies permission has no basis in law or custom. A robots.txt file which does not explicitly exclude certain parts of a site could easier support permission, but even then the permission would only be implicit. Quite seperate from practical ways to stop google from indexing parts of a site, it is a legal question whether or not google needs permission to, or whether a copyright holder has any actionable right against indexing.
Posted by favoritetort (1 comment )
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The answer is simple....
Just exclude any news source which requires a subscription or
registration from the Google search process. No messing with
copyrights (real or imagined), and Google users don't get
involved with useless and unneeded registrations

Ther are plenty of very good alternative news sources.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
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this is nuts
There are many options available to the company; block the spiders through robots.txt, use effective security to block content from anyone except those who are paying customers, provide teasers when someone gets to the site and offer their service, and any other way of turning it around to make use of the free advertising.

Suing is ridiculous. It should not even be an option. This is a frivolous lawsuit ... IMHO.
Posted by LilBambi (6 comments )
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