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A View from Brad King

Google News Facing Down Newspapers

An international consortium of newspapers has launched a lobbying campaign against Google News, claiming the use of headlines and photos may violate copyright law.

  • January 31, 2006

Search engines, RSS feeds, and other tools for navigating the Web are facing serious legal scrutiny; right now, a lawsuit brought by Agence France Presse against Google News is proceeding through the U.S. federal court system. And now a second international organization is throwing its weight behind the case, threatening to find new ways to challenge the search giant’s wildly successful Google News aggregation service, according to this Reuters story.

However, the World Association of Newspapers – the group looking into how the newspaper industry can curtail business models built on aggregation services – says it’s not interested in simply facing off in court. The group wants to find a way to financially benefit from emerging Web tools.

“It’s not intended to shoot one over the bow, it’s to take a group of people to look at the issue, and look at what options are open to our members,” Rahnema added.

If that statement actually turns out to be true – that the organization isn’t looking for simply a legal remedy – it would be in stark contrast to the movie and music industries, which each took hard-line stances against all forms of new electronic distribution.

A side note: it’s ironic that I came across this article on a site that posts headlines of stories – which link back to the original publisher’s site.

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