What is it about the EU in general and France in particular? Just can’t stand the idea of something, anything, being free? Looking to suck up a kickback, er, tax on anything of use?
‘Only The Latest Tiff’ has France demanding a payment from Google for the privilege of sending traffic to them. Yup, you got it right. Link to something in France, pay up! To me, the answer is obvious. Don’t link to anything in France and let their web traffic dry up and blow away. Who needs them? Oddly (or maybe not so odd) Google seems to think along the same lines:
Pay To List French News Sites? “Non,” Writes Back Google To France — It’ll Just Drop Them
Oct 19, 2012 at 9:13am ET by Barry Schwartz
Google has sent a letter to the French policy makers about a proposal to charge Google for linking to their content.
France 24 reports Google threatened French publishers by telling them they will not pay to link to their content and if they are forced to, Google will simply stop linking to them.
The official letter, written in French, doesn’t appear to be written in such a direct tone. The letter describes how this proposal can hurt the internet as a whole, can hurt French readers and most importantly – hurt French publishers. Google says they send four billion clicks per month to publishers and 1 billion of those clicks comes from Google News. Google News is free, there are no ads on Google News, but yet Google has an AdSense program that paid out over $6.5 billion to U.S. publishers from in 2011. So Google believes they are doing their part in helping news publishers remain financially fit.
French news publishers obviously feel otherwise. Google does make it sound that if the law is passed, Google will not participate and remove all French publishers from their index.
Meanwhile, Brazilian publishers may boycott Google News.
Then there’s this one:
Give a free map? Collect a ‘fine’…
French Court Fines Google $660,000 Because Google Maps Is Free
Feb 1, 2012 at 4:00pm ET by Matt McGee
Google faces a $660,000 fine after a French court ruling that the company is abusing its dominant position in mapping by making Google Maps free.
According to The Economic Times, the French commercial court “upheld an unfair competition complaint lodged by Bottin Cartographes against Google France and its parent company Google Inc. for providing free web mapping services to some businesses.”
Bottin Cartographes provides mapping services for a cost, and its website boasts several business clients such as Louis Vuitton, Airbus and several automobile manufacturers.
The French court ruling requires Google to pay $660,000 (500,000 Euros) in damages and interest to Bottin Cartographes, along with a 15,000 Euro fine. That means Google’s total cost from the ruling is about $680,000.
So, in France, to ‘give it away for free’ gets you whacked; but to charge for it, well, that is only natural… Sounds like the wrong side of town here… So does that mean the Government is ‘pimping’? Kind of looks like it to me…
And several more such events listed at the bottom of those articles.
While I’m not particularly fond of the “attitude” at Google about sucking up all data possible on folks and making it public ( I do not think I ought to become a ‘public person’ against my will, nor that anyone in the world ought to be able to do a panning view of my home ) I’m also no fan of someone else wanting a ‘piece of the action’ just for existing. Sheesh… So I’m to be “data raped” AND France wants a cut? Non, merci.
Add to that the recent case where Italy found GUILTY some geologists for failure to do the impossible (they didn’t predict an earthquake…) and one can only wonder what kind of insanity has gripped the EU Legal Systems.
(CNN) — Earthquake experts worldwide expressed shock at the manslaughter convictions of six Italian scientists who failed to predict the deadly L’Aquila quake, warning that the decision could severely harm future research.
Two scientists resigned their posts with the government’s disaster preparedness agency Tuesday after a court in L’Aquila sentenced six scientists and a government official to six years in prison. The court ruled Monday that the scientists failed to accurately communicate the risk of the 2009 quake, which killed more than 300 people.
Luciano Maiani, the physicist who led the National Commission for the Prediction and Prevention of Major Risks, resigned in protest of the verdict Tuesday afternoon, Italy’s Civil Protection Agency announced.
“The situation created by the sentencing yesterday on the facts from L’Aquila is incompatible with a clear and effective performance of the functions of the commission and its role as a consulting bodies for the state,” Maiani said in a statement released by the agency.
Seismologists were aghast at the court’s decision, noting that earthquakes remain impossible to forecast with any kind of accuracy.
“To predict a large quake on the basis of a relatively commonplace sequence of small earthquakes and to advise the local population to flee” would constitute “both bad science and bad public policy,” said David Oglesby, an associate professor in the Earth sciences faculty of the University of California, Riverside.
“If scientists can be held personally and legally responsible for situations where predictions don’t pan out, then it will be very hard to find scientists to stick their necks out in the future,” Oglesby said in a statement.
In related news, enrollments in geology classes (and any science with any public impact) are expected to plummet while a large number of unfilled Geologist positions are expected to remain available for the foreseeable future /sarcoff;>
Sometimes I wonder if Europe has gone mad…at other times I’m sure…