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Friday, 18 January 2008

Copiepresse to take on the Commission over links

From the IPKat's friend Stephanie Bodoni (Bloomberg News) comes the information that Copiepresse, a copyright group for French and German language newspapers, is considering suing the European Commission, suspecting copyright infringement in respect of its links to agency websites. Says Copiepresse, two sites owned by the Commission infringe Belgian copyright laws by linking to Belgian newspaper articles for free. A Brussels court has appointed an expert to study how information is gathered for the EU sites. According to Copiepresse Secretary-General Margaret Boribon,

"Once the expert has submitted his report, we may decide to file a lawsuit. What these sites do is exactly the same type of infringement as in the case of Google".
(a Brussels court last February held that Google had infringed Belgian copyright laws by publishing links to the newspapers without permission and ordered Google to remove the links or pay a daily fine of 25,000 euros). The Commission denies liability, maintaining that it has reproduced no copyright-protected material.

The two sites in dispute are (i) EMM, or Europe Media Monitor and News Explorer, and (ii) EMM Newsbrief. Neither site is currently featuring links to Belgium's French or German-language newspapers such as Le Soir or La Libre Belgique.

The IPKat will be watching this dispute for further developments.

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