Google has lost in court, but already plans to appeal, against Copiepresse, a copyright protection group representing 18 newspapers in Belgium, which claimed Google News was infringing copyrighted laws. The Mountain View, California-based company insists its Google News service is "entirely legal" as it only provides snippets of the article. The Brussels court ruled found that the Web search Internet search leader guilty of allowing "cached" links giving free access to archived articles that the Belgian papers usually sell on a subscription basis. It ordered Google to remove any articles, photos or links from its sites (note the plural form, not just Google News) that it displays without the newspapers' permission.
But in the future, the court said it would be up to copyright owners to get in touch with Google to complain if the site was posting content that belonged to them. Google would then have 24 hours to withdraw the content or face a daily fine of 1,000 euros ($1,295). The court ordered a daily fine of 25,000 euros ($32,390) for each day Google did not comply, a drop in the bucket compared to previous demanded 1 million euros ($1.3 million) a day. Google would not comment on the fine, saying its lawyers were still examining the judgment, but did say it was disappointed with the ruling.