Microsoft ordered to 'cease and desist' over Belgian newspaper content

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microsoft.pngRemember my rant about newspapers getting worked up over Google News? Well, they’re after Microsoft now.

CopiePresse, who manages the copyright for French and German-speaking press in Belgium, has sent a ‘cease and desist’ (in other words, take it down and stop doing it) to Microsoft because content from the newspapers they represent is found on MSN News search results.

The same reason is given: CopiePresse say that search engine companies are unfairly profiting from copyrighted material because they ‘often sell advertising’

Yet again, however, there is no advertising on the MSN News search results pages, just as there isn’t on the Google News results pages. Their argument is unfounded.

The only people that are really benefiting from all this are the solicitors, who are probably charging a tidy sum for all this legal wrangling.

Once again I say that if newspapers don’t want their online content used by search engines, they should make their servers more secure to stop them scraping it. Otherwise, stop complaining.

Andy Merrett