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October 2, 2006

All around the Globe

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Belgium

Google’s situation in Belgium is getting sillier by the day. Now it looks like Copiepresse, one the publishers involved in the original suit, wants to send Google back to court for placing the text under the Google search box instead of above it. I wish I was kidding.

As Nathan Weinberg very accurately remarked:

“Google put the multi-page ruling on the bottom of the page, where it could still be seen by all in addition to, you know, the Google search box, as opposed to the top of the page, where it would have rendered the page completely useless.”

Seriously. Unless this is some sort of angry attack on Google, why are Belgian publishers still causing a fuss? Did they want their content out of Google or did they want the attention? They’ve won their right to no traffic, so I’m starting to think it was the latter. This is why I’m glad I’m a little person. Nobody bothers you when you’re little.

China

Reuters reports (via SEW) that Yahoo! China has filed suit against Chinese search engine Qihoo for developing a piece of software that prompts users to uninstall the Yahoo! Toolbar, basically attributing it to spyware. Yahoo! China owner Alibaba is accusing Qihoo head, and former Yahoo! employee (!), Zhou Hongyi of targeting Yahoo! and engaging in unfair competition practices. Qihoo, of course, denies these allegations and claims that Web users actually saw the toolbar as being “hostile”.

I bet.

If the name Hongyi sounds familiar, perhaps it’s because he sued Yahoo! China for defamation in September. Is someone still holding a grudge?

Europe

MSN has introduced us to our new forum friend adCenterEU. AdCenterEU is a London adCenter Community Team member who will be acting as MSN European voice in the forums and possibly beyond. First msndude, now AdCenterEU — you have to give it MSN, they really do seem to care about addressing user concern and answering questions. I like the new Microsoft.

Lastly, The United States government has joined the council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime to “coordinate international law to investigate and prosecute online criminal activity.”

The convention states that countries must have laws addressing certain criminal online activities, including computer hacking, spreading viruses or causing damage to computer systems (i.e. spamming). To date, 43 EU member states and 15 other parties, including the US, have signed the convention.

It’s good to see the United States getting behind something like this. Hopefully they’ll use it for good (combating spam, child exploitation) and not for evil (nefarious spying and privacy invasions). Having globally accepted guidelines will set a strong message that online offenses are taken seriously world-wide. Personally, I hope it ensures that spam cases are tried in criminal courts, not civil. Spammers bug me.

See that, lots of international nuggets and you didn’t even need a passport!

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