Belgian Group Seeking $77.2 Million in Damages from Google

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The Belgian copyright defense group known as Copiepresse recently filed a court document, asking for up to 49 million Euros, or $77.25 million, in damages from Google.  The issue at hand is Google’s reproduction of select extracts from Belgian newspapers.

This is not Google’s first tangle with Copiepresse.  Last year, a Belgian court ruled that Google was not permitted to reproduce extracts from Belgian newspapers on the Google News search engine.  In this case, Copiepresse argued that versions of these articles stored on Google could be seen there well after the articles were no longer freely accessible on a newspaper’s web site. 

Google appealed that ruling, but also agreed to try to negotiate a settlement out of court.  After Google changed their tagging system, however, they resumed the practice of referencing the Belgian web sites.

Notification of the filing was made available to the press via a copy of the official summons, which was dated May 23, 2008.   

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  • That’s a lot of damages! Is it even fair to ask for so much!?

  • in my opinion $77.2 Million in Damages from Google is a huge amount.

  • The damages they are seeking are a little steep, any thing over a million to settle this is way to much for this type of case, in my opinion.

  • Web Marketeer

    It’s not only about copyright. There’s also a compettive factor. Why have users go to Google News when you want to keep them on your own national sites.

    I think it’s a bit overreacted though, because Google only uses extracts with source identification (!) and then just links through to the original article.

    That’s almost like: free publicity?

  • Copiepresse, the Belgium copyright group representing the nearly 20 papers scandalized by Google News, now gets its wish: Google News

    for e remind: