Google is facing legal woes over its practice of posting article snippets in its News and search results.
A Belgian court ordered the company to stop reproducing article snippets from certain French-language newspapers after Copiepresse lodged a complaint.
The newspapers concerned include La Derniere Heure, La Libre Belgique, and Le Soir.
The company wants Google to pay for reproducing content, as it says the search engine receives advertising revenue on pages that contain pieces of the article. Google News sites, however, do not feature any advertising, only search results pages do.
The ruling seems a bit muddled at this point, as the court heard testimony from a computer consult who said that Google News is an information portal, not a search engine, and that cached versions could be viewed after the articles had been taken down by the newspapers. However, a representative from Google told Reuters that Google News does not keep cached pages.
Google says that it didn’t know about the case until last Friday, and therefore had no chance to give its say in the matter.