Intellectual Property

Google Settles Copyright Dispute With Belgian Newspapers

They objected to the use of headlines and, it seems, the 21st century


Google has settled a long-running dispute with Belgian newspaper publishers that accused the search giant of copyright infringement over its practice of linking to French- and German-language Belgian newspapers.

The group, Copiepresse, sued Google in 2006, alleging that the search giant's use of headlines and snippets of Belgian newspaper articles in its Google News aggregation service, and its practice of providing links to cached copies of the articles in its main Web search results, violated copyright. A Belgian court sided with Copiepresse last September, ordering Google to remove the links.

Google complied with the order, but the two parties engaged in talks that finally brought back the papers' search results, sans cached content. After the organizations came to that agreement, the case continued on in Belgian appeals court. After the appeals court in May 2011 upheld Copiepresse's victory, Google removed the content to be in compliance.