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Belgian Newspaper Group Sues Google For $77million

The search engine allegedly published and stored content in its archives from Belgian newspapers in its Google News section without paying for the content or asking permission.

Copiepresse has summoned Google to appear in a Brussels court in September. However the summons (and documents detailing the copyright infringement) have yet to reach Googles head quarters in Moutain View, California. Because of this, Google has yet to comment.

Last year, a court ruled Google violated Belgian copyright laws by publishing snippets and links to articles on Google News without permission and ordered the site to remove them, which Google did.

Google appealed the February 2007 ruling and began negotiations with the group shortly after, with the aim of coming to some sort of agreement.

Google argued that the links it provides sends traffic to the publisher’s websites and that it never shows more than a few sentence and a thumbnail image.

Additional to the damages the group is demanding a provisional payment of $6.3 million and that Google publish "in a visible and clear manner" the court ruling from last year on Google.be and news.Google.be for 20 days. If Google refuses, Copiepresse said it would seek a $1.5 million daily fine.