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Belgium court rules Google infringed copyright with newspaper links

[JURIST] The Brussels Court of First Instance ruled Tuesday that Google [corporate website; JURIST news archive] violated copyright law by linking to Belgian newspapers without receiving permission to do so. The Internet company was ordered to pay $32,500 (25,000 euros) per day until all of the content is removed, retroactive to 139 days ago when Google was first asked to take the headlines, photos, text fragments, and links down from all Google sites, including its news service. The company said it has already cleared its website of such content and plans to appeal the ruling, arguing that its use of headlines with links to the original Belgian news websites is legal.

Google has also been sued by Copiepresse, which represents 17 German and French language newspapers, for copyright infringement. The media outlets are pushing to have Internet engines like Google pay for links to the European news and many of the newspapers are in negotiations with Google to reach such agreements. Two of the five Copiepresse groups that sued have already settled with Google. Bloomberg has more.

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