I had all but forgotten Belgium existed until this morning, when I read that a press organization in ye olde cockpit of Europe had sued Google for linking to newspaper Web sites through Google News. What’s more, a Belgian court upheld the suit and is fining Google one million euros per day starting today until Google removes all links from Google News.
Belgium? The country’s small enough that you’d think they’d want all the press they could get. According to Reuters, Google didn’t have a chance to make its case in front of a judge because it only found out about the ruling on Friday. Which is apparently about the same time Belgium lawyers found out about the Internet.
Google is also facing a similar lawsuit from the French news agency AFP. Seamus McCauley says this ruling is bad news, since like-minded litigants anywhere in the world could now ostensibly bring suit in Belgium.