Earlier this week a Belgian court ruled that Google News could not use material from "Belgian publishers of the French- and German-speaking daily press" without paying a copyright fee. The ruling followed a case brought by Copiepresse, an association of French- and German-language newspaper editors in Belgium, challenging the right of Google to run their news aggregator under the current copyright laws.
Source - wikinews.org
Iâ€™m not sure I understand this one.
Several media outlets in Europe sued Google for including their news articles and photographs in Google News. Google only puts up the first sentence or two and a photograph and then allows the reader to go directly to the media outletâ€™s web site.
The media companies claim that even putting a single sentence on Google News is a violation of copyright law.
In response to this Google now displays the following message when a user searches for news from these media sites:
"In response to a legal request submitted to Google, we have removed 1260 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read more about the request at ChillingEffects.org."
It is also important to note that Google offers all media companies an "opt-out" option if they do not want their articles to show up on Google News.
The real question is why? Why would a media company not want to have it's articles on Google News? It has been said that many news sites get between 40% and 60% of their hits from news sites such as Google News. It will be intersting to see how the drop from Google News affects this Belgian company.
The heart of the matter looks to be about money. The media company is looking for Google to pay a "copyright fee" to be able to link to the media company's articles. In the court room, Google News was given the status of a portal site rather then a search site. Google has pointed out that it does not profit from Google News as it does not put any advertising on Google News.
Google can obviously not pay this "copyright fee" for if it did, it would have to pay every news site it linked to a "copyright fee" or put Google News to rest.
I'm not familiar enough with European copyright laws but I do know in the USA we still have *some* elements of *Fair Use* which allows for excerpting from materials that are under copyright. It is *Fair Use* that allows book and movie critics to write their reviews.
You can read the english translation of the court order Here.
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