Belgium court backs decision against Google
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In the case brought by Copiepresse, a trade group representing 17 Belgium newspapers, against Google for publishing links to newspaper articles without permission, the Brussels Tribunal upheld its previous decision and ruled that Google violated the copyright law.
Google was ordered to remove Belgian newspaper content from its search engine results. The search engine is no longer allowed to refer to articles, pictures or drawings of Copiepress members without previous agreements that are to be negociated, non-compliance being fined by 25 000 Euros per day.
The ruling also says that any other copyright holder could get in touch with Google and notify its copyright infringement. In this case Google has to remove the content within 24 hours or pay a 1 000 euros a day fine.
Google will appeal the judgment as it considers that making reference to a page is no violation of the law and is actually in favour of the Belgian newspapers by sending Internet users to their websites.
"Search tools such as Google Web Search and Google News are of real benefit to publishers because they drive valuable traffic to their websites and connect them to a wider global audience," said the Google spokeswoman.
Some Belgian journalists have also considered that the court ruling will lead to newspapers loosing readers as the traditional print newspapers are in decline.
"We want more readers, not less readers. Belgian newspapers will not make the internet work by trying to stand against the tide of global change," said a journalist.
The Belgium press plays at who gains looses with Google (Only in
Google must respect copyright (Only in French 13.02.2007)
Google to pay £2.4m over 'copyright breach' (13.02.2007)
Google will appeal Copiepresse decision (13.02.2007)
Belgian Court Decision (13.02.2007)
EDRI-gram : Belgium says no to Google News (26.09.2006)