AFP Settles Google News Lawsuit

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The sweet sound of stacks of Euros being riffled with glee has brought an end to Agence France-Presse’s suit against Google for indexing its stories and photos for Google News.

A licensing agreement inked between Google and AFP will permit the French news company’s content to appear in Google News, where it can be found in snippet form, enabling searchers to visit the original AFP posting for the complete story.

Financial details of that agreement were regretably undisclosed in the report about the deal. Legal filings and the back and forth cries of “J’accuse!” and “Fair use!” have been taking place since March 2005, when AFP sued Google over copyright infringement.

The report cited AFP chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pierre Louette, who said the details of the newly licensed partnership will go beyond snippets of content:

“The agreement will allow uses of AFP’s content in ways that go beyond its typical use of content in Google’s services, which features just headlines and snippets of text to provide just a taste of what an article offers,” Louette said. He did not elaborate.

Google has a similar agreement in place with Associated Press, with financial terms also unavailable.

The usual position Google has when it comes to indexing content, whether it is from personal websites, news sources, or even printed books, has been that its operations fall under the context of fair use. Google presents a brief piece of the overall content to searchers in the results for a query.

Doing so has made the Internet’s vast repository of content far more available to people. Search sends these visitors along to sites containing the entire content; prudent sites find ways to monetize those visitors, either through advertising or full-blown e-commerce solutions.

AFP has found a way to monetize its content through Google as well, above and beyond the possibilities we’ve listed, by securing this licensing agreement.

AFP Settles Google News Lawsuit
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