Google Submits to Belgian Court Ruling

Dennis Faas's picture

Google made an unexpected u-turn this past Saturday when they published a copyright infringement ruling regarding their (Belgian) web site. (Source:

Earlier last week, Google was found guilty of copyright infringement. The Belgian court ruled that Google was required to stop publishing content from Belgian newspapers without prior consent or payment. The court also demanded that Google post the ruling on the site. (Source:

On Friday, Google lost their appeal to overturn the court's ruling. Although Google initially agreed to stop publishing Belgian news snippets, the company refused to display the court ruling on their Beglian website, despite the daily fine of 500,000 Euros for not complying. (Source:

Google representatives argue that the requirement was "disproportionate and now, given the publicity the case has received, unnecessary." (Source:

The case was brought to court by Copiepresse, a copyright organization. Copiepresse sued Google for using headlines and snippets on Google News.

Currently, Google News does not receive permission prior to publishing headlines and snippets from other sources. Although a publisher can opt out of Google News, Copiepresse argued that the mere act of publishing the material violates copyright laws. (Source:

Although it did not take very long for Google to change their minds and "obey the law," there is certainly some irony in the situation -- a company dedicated to dispersing information also resisted a court ruling that requires them to do just that.

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