Category Archives: eu

Google must stop demoting competitors in search results, EU rules

Enlarge (credit: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images)

Google has been gut-punched by the European Commission for abusing its search monopoly to squeeze out other players on the Web. Europe's competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, had been expected to hit Google with a fine of around €1 billion, but the actual number is far larger: €2.42 billion, the largest anti-monopoly fine ever issued.

In addition to the fine, Google will be required to change its search algorithm so that every competing service is fairly crawled, indexed, ranked, and displayed. If Google fails to remedy its anti-competitive conduct within 90 days it will face daily penalty payments of up to 5 percent of the daily worldwide turnover of Google's parent company Alphabet. The commission's full statement on the decision makes for quite damning reading.

Google, as reported by the AFP news agency, "respectfully disagrees" with the EU's fine and is considering an appeal. We have asked Google for comment and will update this story when it responds.

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Google fined €2.42BN for EU antitrust violations over shopping searches

 The European Commission has fined Google a record-breaking €2.42 billion for antitrust violations pertaining to its Google’s Shopping search comparison service — in what is widely considered the most significant antitrust ruling in Europe since the 2004 Microsoft decision. Its finding states that: Google has systematically given prominent placement to its own comparison… Read More

Fansubs for TV shows and movies are illegal, court rules

Fansubbing—the unofficial creation of fan-made subtitles for TV shows and movies—is illegal, a Dutch court ruled this week.

The Free Subtitles Foundation, after coming under fire from the Netherlands' anti-piracy association BREIN, decided to raise some money and take BREIN to court. The Foundation's lawyer told TorrentFreak that the lawsuit sought to clarify whether the creators of a TV show or movie can reserve the right to create and distribute subtitles.

And indeed, that's exactly what the court ruled: that subtitles can only be created and distributed with permission from the rights holders. Doing so without permission is copyright infringement, and thus punishable with either jail time or a fine, depending on where you live.

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A conversation about digital copyright reform

 The European Union is in the process of reforming copyright laws that date back to 2001, as part of a wider strategy to establish a Digital Single Market across the 28 Member States of the bloc, aiming to break down regional barriers to ecommerce. Read More