Feeds

Google (partially) settles Belgian copyright case

Unhold the Press!

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Google has settled with two media agencies in a Belgian copyright case which could change the face of its Google News service. It has not yet settled with the group that started the law suit, Copiepresse.

Google has come to an undisclosed arrangement with SORAM and SCAM, two societies representing photographers and journalists respectively. The groups had joined Copiepresse's copyright infringement action against Google over its Google News service.

Copiepresse represents some Belgian newspapers and it took Google to court earlier this year alleging that its Google News service, which publishes snippets of and links to newspaper stories, broke copyright law by copying snippets of stories without the permission of the newspapers.

It won a judgment in a Belgian court in September in which Google was told to remove its members' stories from Google News or pay a €1 million a day fine. Google asked for a re-hearing of that case. That hearing took place last Friday.

SOFAM and SCAM had joined Copiepresse's legal action but have now cut a deal. "Google is delighted that SOFAM and SCAM have decided not to pursue this litigation," a Google spokeswoman told OUT-LAW. "The agreement we have reached with both these authors' societies will enable us to make extensive use of their content in innovative new ways beyond what copyright law allows without the permission of authors."

"Google respects copyright law, which we believe lies at the heart of the creative process," she said. "As today's agreement demonstrates our approach is to work in partnership with content creators and owners"

Google did not say whether it had paid the groups or agreed to future payments, nor did it say whether or not it was negotiating with newspaper groups to either pay or cut an ad revenue share deal.

Though Google News does not carry advertising, Google's search results pages do. Copiepresse's case objects not just to the Google News service but also to the copying and local storing of web pages by the search engine, accessible to users by the 'Cached' link in Google's search results.

Google has argued that it does not think that it has broken the law because it uses just small parts of each article in Google News, which it says copyright law allows. "It is important to remember that Google News never shows more than the headlines, a few snippets of text and small thumbnail images. If people want to read the entire story they have to click through to the newspaper's website," the spokeswoman said.

Margaret Boribon, the general secretary of Copiepresse, previously told OUT-LAW that it would seek to take action against other news aggregators. "The law is the law. We are producing protected works and the law in Europe says clearly that to re-use that content you have to ask for permission," said Boribon. "We want every search engine, aggregator or re-user of our content to respect it and to ask for agreement and to pay a fair price."

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.