Copiepresse look for €49.2m in damages from Google

Google is back in court again with a Belgian news group suing the search website for storing and publishing content without the copyright holder's permission. Last year Google was forced to remove Google News links and stored articles from the French-language Belgian newspaper group Copiepresse.

Now Copiepresse are seeking €49.2m in damages. The figure is based on copyright material used by Google search and Google News between 2001 and 2006. However, the internet giant claims that both its search engine and Google News are legal and help news websites to increase web traffic and hits with most websites actively trying to optimise their Google search profiles.

But that doesn't seem important to Copiepresse. Last year a Brussels court disagreed with Google's assessment of what was "fair use" of copyright material ruling in the Belgian news group's favour after extracts from Le Soir and La Libre Bélgique featured on the world's No1 search website. While the philosophy of "fair use", i.e. the limited use of copyright material without the right holder's permission, is widespread in the US it has no basis in European law. Interesting times ahead for Google.

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