Google on Tuesday lost a copyright fight launched by Belgian
newspapers who demanded the Web search service remove their stories last year, claiming it infringed copyright laws.
A Brussels court ruled in favor of Copiepresse, a copyright
protection group representing 19 - mostly French-language -
newspapers that complained the search engine's "cached" links
offered free access to archived articles that the papers usually
sell on a subscription basis.
It was unclear if Google would have to pay a daily fine.
The court ruled against the California-based company in September
when it failed to appear at an earlier hearing.
That judgment forced Google to remove newspaper content from its
news index, under threat of daily fines of euro million until it
complied with the ruling.
The court later agreed to hear the case again to allow Google put
its side forward.
Google's lawyers accused the newspapers of protectionism, insisting
that the company had not broken copyright law by showing headlines,
a few lines of text and a link to the original story.
But counsel for Copiepresse claimed that Google hurt the rights of
authors because it effectively gave away content they usually
charge for, Reuters reports.