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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Google launches Japanese news-search service... without Yomiuri

Very interesting paper from Pressnet about copyright issues related to search engines: "U.S. Internet search engine Google Inc. launched the Japanese version of its Google News on Sept. 1. Google News in Japanese presents information culled from approximately 610 news sources, mostly Web sites operated by Japanese newspapers, news agencies, broadcast stations and foreign media that provide news in Japanese. Some sources have so far refused to be referenced in the search, among them, the Yomiuri Shimbun's Tokyo head company (see below). Google's service is bringing up questions about the protection of copyrights for headlines and about having direct access to individual news articles that bypasses upper pages of the host Web sites.

The Google official said that Google sees information on the Internet as public property, although this stance may be open to question, as is being debated in some court cases already. The official said Google will exclude any link that does not want to be used in its Web searches.

The Yomiuri Shimbun has refused to be referenced by Google News in Japanese. In December 2003, the Yomiuri went to court against Digital Alliance Corp., the operator of a Web search engine for news headlines, alleging that it violated the Copyright Law and obstructed business. That search site earns revenues from advertising. The Tokyo District Court turned down the Yomiuri's complaint this past March. The Yomiuri appealed the ruling to the Tokyo High Court and the case is still pending.

According to the Yomiuri, Google officials visited to request its cooperation on Aug. 31. A Yomiuri official said that the company flatly refused to be used by Google, citing the fact that the Yomiuri is providing news to Yahoo in return for fees and that headlines are protected by copyright.

In November 1997, the NSK Editorial Affairs Committee announced its stand on the question of copyrights related to information from the Internet released by newspapers and news agencies, calling for prior consultation with the sources when setting up links to their Web sites.

Source: Pressnet

Google Inc. launched the Google News site in December 2001 and now runs it in the local language of 12 countries, including the United States, France, Germany and South Korea.

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on September 9, 2004 at 09:29 AM | Permalink


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Posted by: John Reed at Sep 10, 2005 11:31:02 PM

Hi there,
I discussed this on my Japanese blog. A Japanese writer, Kei Ogikubo pointed out that Yomiuri offers their news to Yahoo! news. I haven't check but maybe they had an exclusive deal? Anyway, I feel sorry that they can't offer their news on Google News.

Posted by: nobi at Sep 11, 2004 8:19:24 PM


There goes that biz model!

-- back to the drawing board! Phhht!!

Posted by: Skankster at Sep 10, 2004 1:19:46 PM