AFP reports that Google has warned Australia that if they pass certain a new copyright law that it will set the country back to "the pre-Internet era." Google's senior counsel, Andrew McLaughlin, told the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, "If such advanced permission was required [to index pages], the internet would promptly grind to a halt." I believe the issue here is that Australia wants Google to get copyright owners to opt in to having their content indexed, archived and cached, as opposed to opting out via a robots.txt file. Australia is not alone here; Belgium newspapers are fighting Google over similar copyright issues. This all just amazes me, seriously.
Postscript From Danny: See also my Google's Belgium Fight: Show Me The Money, Not The Opt-Out, Say Publishers piece that goes into great depth about how this is effectively already the law in Belgium, due to a court ruling there. The appeal on that case will happen later this month, but the threat alone also already caused Micrsoft to back out of some indexing.
The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Register today!