Italian regulators are investigating Google over complaints from newspaper publishers. The complaint is that Google bans newspapers from all of Google if a newspaper chooses to opt-out of Google News.
Google’s Italian offices were searched by financial police, according to Bloomberg.
It seems that Italian newspaper publishers who are putting forth the complaint are shooting themselves in the foot (with apologies to Plaxico Burress).
On the one hand, they say it’s a copyright violation to be found in Google News. On the other hand, they’re complaining that they aren’t found at all in Google.
So let me get this straight. A link in Google News is copyright violation. A link in Google web search results is not? I think you just proved the other side right, Italian newspaper publishers and regulators.
In this case, it’s likely wise to “follow the money.” Newspapers need advertising revenue to their websites, but if they’re not getting as much traffic now that they’ve opted-out of Google News, advertising revenues have probably dropped. Instead of actually working on their business and recognizing the value of inclusion in Google News results, they simply want to make Google pay legally and likely financially as well.
Hopefully, regulators will wise up and realize the jig is up.