Belgium newspaper group continues its actions against search engines

By EDRi · October 25, 2006

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

After the decision against Google obtained on 5 September 2006, the Belgium
newspaper group Copiepresse has planned new actions against MSN and Yahoo,
alleging that they are infringing its copyright by showing excerpts of
articles and images from newspapers on their Belgian portals without paying.

Copiepresse sent a cease & desist letter to the website, asking them
not to post excerpts from the articles under their copyright. Major
Belgium newspapers, such as Le Libre and Le Soir, are part of Copiepresse
and they are offering articles in French and German. Copiepresse considers
that the search engines are unfairly taking advantage of the content created
by its members and are gaining financially from selling advertisement
attracted by others people’s content.

The Belgium group has also announced that they would start similar actions
against Yahoo services very soon.

The Microsoft Division in Belgium has started talks with Copiepresse in
order to reach a compromise. It is not clear yet whether the Belgians are
looking for an advertisement revenue-share agreement or a fixed amount to be
paid for allegedly using their content, but their main focus now is to
remove all their content from the search engines. Microsoft just started the
negotiations with Copiepresse on this issue, but no agreement has been
reached yet.

Meanwhile, in order to avoid any kind of court action against them,
Microsoft announced on 20 October 2006 that it had “provisionally” agreed to
comply with the Copiepresse request. The company will remove all the cached
articles and links from the website, its Live search engine and their
news aggregator.

This situation means that right now all the Belgium newspaper stories are
excluded from the 2 main search engines, since Google announced that it has
deleted that info from its Google News site worldwide and that the search
engine will not provide links to the cached pages.

The Copiepresse lawyers are still asking for the 34 millions fines to be
paid by Google, since it has not complied with the court decision right

Copiepresse continues copyright crusade(20.10.2006)

MSN is latest target of Belgian copyright complaint (13.10.2006)

Google, Microsoft Surrender To Belgians (20.10.2006)

EDRI-gram: Belgium says no to Google News (27.09.2006)