A Belgian court upheld its
decision that Google violated the copyright of several Belgian newspapers by
posting extracts of their stories on the Google News Web site without their
permission. The Brussels Court of First Instance ruled that Google could not
call on exemptions, such as claiming "fair use": "Google is reproducing and
publishing works protected by copyright," it said. "Google cannot call on any
exceptions set out by law relating to copyright or similar rights."
The Brussels court has fined Google 25,000 € for
each day it displayed links to the Belgian newspapers, represented by plaintiff
Copiepresse, a group of 18 French- and German-language publications. The sum is
significantly below the original penalty of 1 million euros a day that the court
set last September.
Google intends to appeal the ruling.
February 14, 2007:
Belgian court confirms ruling against Google News, Heise:
"Google is not allowed to publish in its news section content found in
Belgian publications without the permission of the publishers in question;
without explicit permission items of this kind must be removed."
February 13, 2007: Crampton, Thomas,
Google Said to Violate Copyright Laws, New York Times:
"A Brussels court ruled Tuesday that Google had violated copyright laws by
publishing links to articles from Belgian newspapers without permission.
Legal experts said the case could have broad implications in Europe for the
news indexes provided by search engines."
February 13, 2007:
appeal Copiepresse decision, Outlaw.com:
"Google will appeal today's judgment from a Belgian court that it broke the
law when it used newspaper material in Google News. The company will have to
stop publishing links to certain newspaper sites having been found liable
for copyright infringement."
February 13, 2007: Robertson, Struan,
Why the Belgian
court ruled against Google, Outlaw.com:
"EDITORIAL: Every search engine should obtain permission from a website
before copying its pages or even snippets of text, according to a ruling by
a Belgian court today."