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Google Loses Against Belgian Newspapers

It seems the battle about news scraping continues in Belgium.

From Reuters:

A Belgian court ruled on Tuesday that Google may not reproduce extracts from a variety of Belgian newspapers, imperilling one of the web search leader’s most popular services if other courts follow suit.

The case was brought by Copiepresse, which manages copyrights for Belgium’s French- and German-language newspapers and has also demanded that the French division of Internet portal Yahoo stop displaying Belgian press reports.

Copiepresse argues that versions of news articles stored on Google can be seen on its service even after the articles are no longer freely accessible on a newspaper’s Web site.


The good news for Google is, that the potential fine for publishing the news excerpts from the 19 newspapers is reduced to 25,000 euros per day instead of 1 million euro.

The Belgian newspapers are happy.

Margaret Boribon, secretary-general of Copiepresse, told Reuters she was pleased with Tuesday’s judgement, although expressed surprise that the potential fine had been cut.

She added that Copiepresse would still consider allowing Google to display extracts from the Belgian newspapers for a fee, although said it was up to Google to initiate contact.

Google plans to appeal. I don’t think they would like to set a precedent and start paying.

What do you think? Should Google pay for the right to publish news extracts?

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