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Google sued for copyright infringement by AFP

[JURIST] French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) [corporate website] has filed a legal complaint [PDF] against Google News, the most popular online news aggregator. The AFP complaint says Google News infringed its intellectual property rights by pulling and displaying photos, headlines and leads of news stories from the websites of AFP subscribers. The outcome of the lawsuit will likely depend on whether a court concludes that Google's automated service using only small portions of stories that are posted only a limited-time basis constitutes “fair use” of the copyrighted material. Google spokesman Steve Langdon said most websites “want to be included in Google News because they believe it is a benefit to them and their readers.” Google has begun removing AFP content from its news service [eNews report], but AFP says that damage to it had already been done; AFP says Google ignored previous cease and desist letters requesting it not to include AFP material. Yahoo! uses AFP material in its Yahoo News! news aggregator service, but pays AFP a fee. AP has the full story.

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