Lauren Weinstein's Blog: Google, France, and the Extortion of the Internet: " . . . Whether we call it Tribute, Danegeld, or just plain blackmail and extortion payments, there is little evidence to suggest that "paying off" a party making unreasonable demands will do much more than quiet them for the moment, and they'll almost inevitably be back for more. And more. And more. Even worse, caving in such situations signals other parties that you may be susceptible to their making the same (or even more outrageous) demands, and this mindset can easily spread from attacking deep-pocketed firms to decimating much smaller companies, organizations, or even individuals. Let's be very clear. France's complaints regarding Google related to activities that are absolutely part and parcel of the fundamental and fully expected nature of the open Internet when dealing with publicly accessible Web sites, and pages not blocked by paywalls or limited by robots.txt directives. France's success at obtaining financial and other concessions from Google associated with ordinary search and linking activities sends a loud, clear, and potentially disastrous message around the planet, a message that could doom the open Internet and Web that we've worked so long and hard to create. Because if France can do this with Google, what's to stop France from the same modus operandi with other firms and sites -- or for other countries and entities to follow a similar course?"
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