Six year old copyright battle between Google Inc. and Belgium newspaper publishers finally comes to an end. The publishers had sued google, contending that google violated their copyright by displaying snippets in Google News and linking to cached copies of their pages in Google search. In what may be called as a win-win situation, Google Inc. and the publishers have entered into a business partnership. In 2007, Google was directed to remove links and snippets of articles from French- and German-language Belgian newspapers from Google.com and Google.be.
The newspaper publishers contended that the publishers should be paid for the content, since it generated revenue for the search engine. Thierry Geerts, Managing Director, Google Belgium stated, “This agreement comes at an important moment, in the midst of a debate how best the newspaper industry should adapt to the new digital age.” To quote from Google’s blog, “:From now on, Google and Belgian French-language publishers will partner on a broad range of business initiatives, in order to promote both the publishers’ and Google’s services, increase publishers’ revenue – by collaborating on making money with content, increase reader engagement – by implementing Google+ social tools, and increase the accessibility of the publishers’ content – by collaborating on the distribution of the publishers original content on mobile platforms”.
The agreement to put an end to the prolonged litigation and to join hands will definitely benefit both the parties. Google will offer umpteen business opportunities to the publishers by directing internet traffic to the publishers website, while on the other hand Google will gain advantage by advertising its services on the publishers media.