MSN Belgium Drops Some Newspapers, Negotiating On Inclusion After Cease & Desist

Earlier,
we touched on the fact that Copiepresse was threatening to go after MSN for
carrying Belgian newspapers in the way it
went after
Google.
Via
PaidContent.org,
Update:
MSN is latest target of Belgian copyright complaint
from InfoWorld covers
how Copiepresse is now negotiating with MSN Belgium
after sending a cease-and-desist letter to MSN. Copiepresse hopes to gain a
share of advertising revenue.

Meanwhile, MSN Belgium has removed some newspapers. Removed from where isn’t
clear. MSN Belgium does have a dedicated
news area, so it might be
from there. However, sites may also have been removed from web search results
similar to what
Google did
. I tried a search for

site:lesoir.be
, and the main news site seems to have been removed.

InfoWorld also notes:

The group, which represents some of Belgium’s best known newspapers,
including Le Soir and Le Libre, has been gathering more support for its cause.
It was joined this week by separate groups that represent Belgian
photographers, journalists, scientific authors and multimedia publishers, who
plan to back its efforts.

It will be interesting to see how many more groups they rally in support
against the search engines, and how the search engines react. I think there’s a
big difference between search engines deciding they might pay to include
relatively small amounts of content in specialized news search engines versus a
frankly insane idea that they’re going to negotiate deals for inclusion in
regular web search results.

Ultimately, the good people of Belgium might mind themselves without the
ability to search the web, should Copiepresse succeed in its quest that getting
permission via robots.txt should be illegal.

I’ve have much more to say on this subject — I’m working on a piece I hope
to post later this week. For some related material from me, see:

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