Belgium Orders Google To Stop Linking News
September 18th, 2006

Google Inc. has been ordered by a Belgian court to stop reproducing article snippets from French-language newspapers, in an unprecedented copyright crackdown over what is a common online practice. PC Magazine reports.

The complaint against the world’s most popular search engine was lodged by Copiepresse, an organisation which manages copyright for the Belgian French- and German-speaking press.

The court’s ruling, which was issued on Sept. 5, stipulates that Google must pay a fine of 1 million euros ($1.3 million) daily if it did not comply on Monday, Copiepresse general secretary Margaret Boribon said.

Google, which is planning to appeal against the ruling, said later that it had removed links to the newspapers from news.google.be and was in the process of taking them down from its news sites in other countries.

“We are asking for Google to pay and seek our authorisation to use our content … Google sells advertising and makes money on our content,” Boribon told Reuters.

Global Google News sites do not carry any advertising. Google search results, which do carry advertising, sometimes include links to news headlines.

Boribon said she was informing her European counterparts about the court ruling, adding that similar actions could be brought elsewhere in Europe.


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