TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Belgian Court Says No Verdict in Lawsuit Against Google Before 2007

Belgian Court Says No Verdict in Lawsuit Against Google Before 2007

Reuters News Service (
Fri, 24 Nov 2006 12:05:52 -0600

A Belgian court said on Friday it would wait until after the new year
to decide whether to cancel an injunction forbidding Web search leader
Google Inc. from reproducing extracts from Belgian press reports.

Google, which faces a parallel case in a U.S. court filed by Agence
France-Presse, argued on Friday that the injunction, granted by
Brussels's Tribunal des Referes, should be cancelled.

"It will be after the Christmas holidays," the judge told lawyers
after a three-hour hearing during which Google lawyers argued that the
Belgian Google News service did not infringe on copyright laws.

Lawyers for Copiepresse, an organization which manages copyrights for
French and German language newspapers and which brought the case, said
that Google had no right to make any copy of content without prior

Copiepresse general secretary Margaret Boribon, who was present at the
hearing, said her organization was open to talks.

Google also offered an olive branch. "Google is always open to better
its relations with authors. We are trying to resume dialogue," Yoram
Elkaim, the legal head of Google France, told Reuters after the

Elkaim said he believed the case was did not threaten the viability of
the Google News business overall.

"This case in Belgium has triggered a debate in Europe but does not
question this activity. It is more a question of method," he added.

"If people want us to remove them from our service we do it," he added.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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