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Belgian Newspapers Wake-up to Reality, Allow Return to Google’s Index

It only took the Belgian newspaper industry 8 months to figure out that blocking Google from their content, is a pretty dumb move.

While the courts haven’t yet decided on whether they want back in to Google News, they are graciously allowing Google to index their newer content and send them visitors. How kind of them. ;-)

Google Decides to Fight Back Hard Against Viacom

Google has filed an answer to Viacom’s copyright lawsuit and according to Rob Hof’s summary, the search engine is not taking any chances with its defense.

First up, Google contends Viacom’s suit goes against the principles of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

“By seeking to make carriers and hosting providers liable for Internet communications, Viacom’s complaint threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, and political and artistic expression.”

If that doesn’t work, Google’s next defense is the Safe Harbor provision…

“We actually got well above and beyond what the law tells us to do,” such as marking copyrighted files that have been taken down once, so they’re immediately taken down the next time they’re uploaded, and a 10-minute limit on uploaded videos, which prevents full TV episodes from even getting posted.

PreFound.com Parent Sues Google for Patent Infringement

According to eWeek, iLOR, LLC – the parent company of social search company PreFound – is suing Google for infringement of a newly granted patent.

The patent describes a method for adding user selectable functions to a hyperlink, and was only issued on April 17th.

Here’s a description of the patent…

Can Blogosphere Force Amazon to Withdraw Alexaholic Lawsuit?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been caught saying one thing and doing another. According to ZDNet, while Bezos was chatting at the Web 2.0 conference and promoting his company’s S3 hosting service to the crowd, he was quietly suing the pants off of Alexaholic.

Quietly that is, until host Tim O’Reilly put Bezos on the spot.

O’Reilly asked Bezos point blank about the whole Alexa versus Alexaholic…Bezos seemed to be caught completely off guard by this question and tried to explain Alexa’s stand with that age old “intellectual property” and “trademark” line. It was clear that all O’Reilly wanted to see was a shift in Alexa’s policies, to be more open with the Web 2.0 community, and to hopefully foster an amicable solution for a service that he really liked and respected. That being Statsaholic. 

Judge Won’t Dismiss Google Trademark Lawsuit

Despite winning many other trademark lawsuits, Google is finding it tough going in their battle with American Blind & Wallpaper.

A US judge has refused Google’s recent request to dismiss the case.

In making his decision to allow the case to move forward, U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled the public has an interest in whether AdWords, the company’s popular pay-per-click advertising system, violates U.S. trademark law.

It wasn’t a complete loss for Google as they still have a motion for sanctions before another judge.

“Judge Fogel rightfully concluded that they did not prove that two of their marks are protectable, and we are confident that they will be unable to prove their remaining claims at trial,” Michael Kwun, Google’s litigation counsel said in a statement.

Yahoo Sued for Obliging Chinese Government

Yahoo is being sued by the wife of a Chinese dissident over the company’s release of information to the Chinese government. She’s claiming her husband “has been tortured in the Chinese prison where he is being held,” and holding Yahoo responsible.

Ling is seeking damages under the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victims Protection Act, two statutes under which U.S. companies have been sued for allegedly aiding in human rights abuses overseas,

Yahoo originally claimed they were simply abiding by the laws of the countries they operate in. As for this case?

Yahoo said in a statement that it has not had time to review the lawsuit and could not comment on it. It added that it was “distressed that citizens in China have been imprisoned for expressing their political views on the Internet.”

Google’s North Carolina Tax Breaks May Spark Lawsuit

The cynic in me can’t help but focus on the awesome publicity that Bob Orr is going to get by leading a group that plans to sue over the tax breaks, given to Google, as an incentive for building a data center in Lenoir, NC.

Orr, who is running for governor and plans to resign from the institute this month, said the suit will challenge the constitutionality of the exemption. He said the measure is illegal because it gave special treatment to one company, “which would seem to run counter to the fact that there be uniformity in the tax law.” The suit could be filed by month’s end, he said. Officials with the state Department of Commerce and attorney general’s office declined to comment.