Google, Belgian group in talks over copyright row

Google, the world's most popular search engine, said on Thursday it had resumed providing links to Belgian newspaper Web sites after entering talks with Copiepresse, a group that defends press copyrights.

Google, Belgian group in talks over copyright row
Google, the world's most popular search engine, said on Thursday it had resumed providing links to Belgian newspaper Web sites after entering talks with Copiepresse, a group that defends press copyrights.

"Internet users interested in Belgian news and users of Google's search engine may have noticed today that the Web sites of the Belgian French and German-language daily newspapers ... are again referenced on the search engine," a joint statement issued by Google and Copiepresse said.

A Belgian court ruled in February that Google could not reproduce extracts from Belgian newspapers on its news search engine, imperiling one of Google's most popular services if other courts followed. Google has not yet appealed against the decision.

Copiepresse had argued that versions of news articles stored on Google could be seen on the U.S. firm's service even after the articles were no longer freely accessible on a newspaper's Web site.

The Belgian Web sites will tag their Internet pages in such a way that this will no longer be possible, both parties said.

Talks between the parties could open the door to an out-of-court settlement, said Margaret Boribon, secretary general of Copiepresse.

"That's part of the things we are trying to achieve," she told Reuters.

A Google spokesman declined to go beyond the joint statement's wording.

"The Belgian French and German-language daily press publishers and Google Inc. intend to use a quiet period in the court dispute to continue their efforts to identify tangible ways to collaborate in the long term," the statement read.
Last Mod: 03 Mayıs 2007, 18:34
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