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A group of newspaper publishers and other media companies are joining forces to go after search engines and news aggregators which they accuse of unfairly exploiting their work.

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) has formed a task force to look at ways to "improve the relationships between content creators/producers and news aggregators and search engines."

WAN says such aggregators, "have built their business models in large part on taking content for free." The group is not considering legal action at the moment although representatives of AFP, which is taking Google to court, did attend the first meeting of the task force. The group will arrange meetings with the European Commission to raise the issue.

A spokesman for the group told The Reg the group was not considering legal action and did recognise the positive role of search engines in helping people find content. He said Yahoo! already pays many companies for using their content.

WAN represents some 18,000 newspapers across the world and is working with other organisations such as the European Federation of Magazine Publishers and AFP. The group also said: "WAN is also extremely concerned about the behaviour of several major search engines when faced with the censorship demands of repressive regimes."

Read the whole statement from WAN here. ®

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