Belgian publishers are tired of waiting for Google to kick over some bucks (actually, euros will do quite nicely) from a 2006 lawsuit. In 2006, Google lost a copyright infringement case over Google News and with settlement negotiations going so slowly, the Copiepresse agency decided it's time to ask the court to step in. Copiepress wants damages of €49 million or $77 million, as Reuters reports.
A Belgian court ruled last year that Google could not continue to reproduce extracts from Belgian newspapers on its news search engine, endangering one of Google's most popular services if other courts followed. Google had appealed the ruling but agreed at the same time to try to negotiate an agreement outside of court. Google had resumed referencing the Belgian Web sites after they changed their tagging system.Copiepresse isn't satisfied with the pace of those negotiations and it appears Google wants to get an appeals ruling before it coughs up any money. "We entered in negotiations with Google to reach an agreement, but they have now failed," said Margaret Boribon, secretary general at Copiepresse, according to Computerworld.
Google probably feels the need to get European copyright law cleanly defined here. They don't want to fork over tens of millions in every country.
"This is why we are appealing the February 2007 ruling. We consider that this new claim for past damages is groundless and we intend to vigorously challenge it," said a spokeswoman.