A Court in Belgium has ordered the search company Google to stop showing excerpts of articles from French and German language Belgian newspapers on Google News and Google’s websearch site for Belgium. This decision affirms an earlier ruling by the same court against the company, while halving the daily fine Google faces for non-compliance. Google failed to persuade the court that full-text caching plus excerpt-only reproduction could constitute fair use or that the burden lies with copyright owners to exercise an ‘opt-out’ option. Google intends to appeal. The Company argues that they company always complies with requests from copyright owners to remove infringing material and indeed that they only use ‘snippets’ of news. According to a spokesman for the company “ If people want to read the entire story they have to click through to the web publisher’s site where the information resides. We believe search engines are of real benefit to publishers because they drive valuable traffic to their websites”.
From the ever wonderful IPKat http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2007/02/google-to-appeal-belgian-copyright.html
See also Google v Perfect 10 (Google image search can infringe) and Google v Field (Googlecashes are fair use)both US court decisions: both Law Updates March 2006. In Australia a federal judge held that Google could be in breach of Australia’s Copyright Act because of its web links to unauthorised copies of copyright material (see Law Updates January 2007).