Brussels rules Google in breach of authors' rights

18th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

18 September 2006, BRUSSELS — A Brussels Court has ruled that Google News is in breach of author's rights and data bank regulations.

18 September 2006

BRUSSELS — A Brussels Court has ruled that Google News is in breach of author's rights and data bank regulations.

The court ordered Google to remove every article, photo and image from French and German-language newspapers represented by the firm Copiepress.

If Google fails to abide by the court ruling, it faces a fine of EUR 1 million per day, newspaper 'De Morgen' reported on Monday.

The ruling — which was handed down on 5 September, but has only made headlines now — could have international consequences and lead to a reduction in the amount of free news online.

The website Chillingeffects.org — where the ruling has been published in full in English — was the first to report the news.

It said Google was ordered to publish the court's ruling at the threat of an additional EUR 500 million fine.

After news.google.be was launched at the start of this year, the Dutch-language newspapers represented by Reprocopy press in Belgium, refused to allow Google to use their stories.

However, Copiepress took it one step further and lodged legal action. No stories from newspapers 'Le Soir', 'La Libre Belgique' or 'La dernière herure' can currently be found on the site

The Brussels Court ruling came after a complaint was lodged at the start of August by representatives of the media firms, which wanted to defend its authors' rights.

The court ruled that the activities of Google News are effectively in breach of legislation guaranteeing author's rights and data banks.

The ruling was signed by the US headquarters of Google on 8 September. Any possible fines will come into effect 10 days after that date, i.e. from Monday.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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