Belgian newspapers seeking £39m damages from Google

A group of Belgian newspapers are seeking up to £39m (€49m) in damages from Google for the search giant publishing and storing their content without permission or offering payment.

Last year Google lost a case brought against it by the Copiepresse group – an organisation that represents the French language press in Belgium – forcing it to remove cached versions of newspaper articles and take down content from its Google News service

The organisation’s secretary-general told Bloomberg yesterday it had summoned Google to appear again before a Brussels court so that it could decide on the damages. Copiepresse is seeking between €32.8 and 49.1m.

The damages would be in addition to the €25,000 (£20,000) daily fine imposed on Google by the court for each day it kept Copiepresse material on its site.

Google appealed the original court decision of February 2007, which ruled that it could not claim ‘fair use’ – acceptable under copyright law – for using a lines of text and linking to the original article.

A Google spokesperson told Bloomberg that it was still awaiting the results of its appeal and that it had not received notification from Copiepresse of any new court dates.

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  1. Pingback: Journalism.co.uk Editors’ Blog » Blog Archive » Belgian newspaper group to take European Commission to court again after its first challenge over news aggregator fails

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