Belgian newspapers go after Yahoo


DUBLIN – Copiepresse, the association representing Belgian newspapers, has already accused Google Inc. and MSN of copyright violations and now it’s got Yahoo Inc. in its sights.

Yahoo confirmed that Copiepresse contacted it regarding the display of archived results in its search offering. Yahoo didn’t give any indication of its reaction, only saying that it would respond in an appropriate manner.

Google and Microsoft Corp.’s MSN have responded differently to letters that are likely similar from Copiepresse. Copiepresse asked them to stop posting Belgian newspaper articles on their Web sites, saying that doing so without permission constitutes copyright violation.

Google took down the content only when Copiepresse took it to court, which ordered that the search giant do so. In an appeal to that ruling, Google argued that it doesn’t violate copyright because it only summarizes articles and displays the source of the content and the name of the author before directing users to the Web page hosting the content. The judge is expected to rule on the case this month.

MSN, by contrast, has been working with Copiepresse on a compromise solution, Copiepresse said in October.

Copiepresse spokespeople were not available to comment on the Yahoo situation. Google has had similar run-ins with other groups in different countries. I

t made an agreement with two French groups representing photographers and writers in order to use their content after the groups joined the Copiepresse action.

In Norway, a publishing group protested the use of its news photographs on Google’s site and publishers in Denmark have objected to having to opt out to prevent their work from appearing on the site.

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