Google News Sued by Agence France Presse
Google News, Google’s news aggregation service which recently added new personalization features, has been sued by Agence France Presse. Agence France Presse alleges that Google includes AFP’s photos, stories and news headlines on Google News without permission from Agence France Presse. AFP is seeking damages of around $17.5 million and an order barring Google News from displaying its copyrighted material.
The law suit was filed this week on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The basis around the law suit is that Agence France Presse sells subscriptions to its new content. Google News however crawls photos and news stories from AFP, posts the stories on Google News, and then Google News readers clcik over to the AFP site. Although this may sound good for traffic to AFP and the possibility of selling new subscriptions, one problem seems to be that Google News indexes the entire news story from a site, unlike RSS syndication which only indexes an excerpt.
“Without AFP’s authorization, defendant is continuously and willfully reproducing and publicly displaying AFP’s photographs, headlines and story leads on its Google News web pages,” Rueters reported that Agence France Presse charged in its lawsuit.
Agence France Presse has apparently informed Google that Google News is not authorized to use AFP’s copyrighted material as it does and had requested Google to cease and desist from infringing its copyrighted work.