The Belgian press is demanding €49 million ($76.9 million) in damages from Google for copyright violation.

In a case that has the support of none other than the Belgian king, Albert II, a group of Belgian newspapers are pursuing Google News for massive costs.

They alleged that the news service used headlines and sentences from their articles and is therefore guilty of massive copyright theft.

The Belgian Copiepresse trade group began legal proceedings to have its materials removed from Google News within a month of the service rolling out in Belgium in January 2006.

Their argument: the headlines and brief snippets that Google was using to highlight articles violated copyrights of daily papers in Belgium.

According to Ars Technica: "The papers objected because they didn't want Google deep linking to their content; they wanted visitors to come to the site homepages and click around a bit, generating more pageviews and keeping visitors from 'bouncing' from one source to the next".

The lawsuit followed in which Google was found guilty.

It then pulled the stories in question from its news archive, stopped indexing them, and pulled them from its main index.

But now Copiepresse is pursuing the damages its says it won and wants a provisional fine of €4 million while the much larger fine is being worked out.

"Information obtained freely is certainly good for the wallet but is it good for sustainable quality of information? For intellectual development? For democracy?" reads a French notice at the very top of Copiepresse's website.

The answer: "Quality is not an effect of chance... Think before you copy!"