News Journal

3/19/2005

Google’s news sued for infringing Agence France Presse copyrighted work.

Google’s news sued for infringing Agence France Presse copyrighted work

Google’s news aggregation service which recently added new personalization features, has been sued by Agence France Presse. Agence France Presse alleges that Google includes AFP’s photos, stories and news headlines on Google News without permission from Agence France Presse.

AFP is seeking damages of around $17.5 million and an order barring Google News from displaying its copyrighted material.

The law suit was filed this week on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The basis around the law suit is that Agence France Presse sells subscriptions to its new content. Google News however crawls photos and news stories from AFP, posts the stories on Google News, and then Google News readers clcik over to the AFP site.

“We are reviewing it,” Google spokesman Steve Langdon said of the AFP lawsuit. The attorney for AFP was not immediately available for comment.

In Paris, the AFP management declined comment.

AFP, which has its headquarters in Paris and bureaus around the world, is one of the major global news agencies, and supplies its news services to various kinds of media, including electronic.

It has 600 online clients.

Agence France Presse has apparently informed Google that Google News is not authorized to use AFP’s copyrighted material as it does and had requested Google to cease and desist from infringing its copyrighted work.

The lawsuit comes a few months after Perfect 10, a publisher of nude photographs, sued Google in federal court in Los Angeles.

In that lawsuit, Perfect 10 charged that Google illegally allowed people to view hijacked versions of photos it owns and produced, violating copyrights and harming its ability to profit from the distribution of the photos via its magazine and Web site.

“I’m very happy that other people who are ‘more respectable’ than myself are suing,” Norm Zada, president of Beverly Hills, California-based Perfect 10.
Zada added that other Web search providers display illegally obtained versions of copyrighted photos.

In 2002, a federal appeals court ruled that Web sites may reproduce and post “thumbnail” or down-sized versions of copyrighted photographs. But the court said displaying full-sized copies of photographs is a copyright violation.

More: Technology News

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