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Monday, March 21, 2005

Frog reporters sue Google over news links

pepe.jpg AFP's attorney.

Zee Americans! Zay are swiping our coverage!

Agence France Presse has sued Google Inc. (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) , alleging the Web search leader includes AFP's photos, news headlines and stories on its news site without permission. The French news service is seeking damages of at least $17.5 million and an order barring Google News from displaying AFP photographs, news headlines or story leads, according to the suit filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. "We are reviewing it," Google spokesman Steve Langdon said of the AFP lawsuit. The attorney for AFP was not immediately available for comment. AFP sells subscriptions to its content and does not provide it free. Google News gathers photos and news stories from around the Web and posts them on its news site, which is free to users. "Without AFP's authorization, defendant is continuously and willfully reproducing and publicly displaying AFP's photographs, headlines and story leads on its Google News web pages," AFP charged in its lawsuit.
The French are expected to surrender shortly. In all seriousness, though, Google News is an outstanding news site. Instead of editors, the site uses a computer algorithm to select stories for publication. The service draws from about 4,500 news sources, including Lone Star Times. If successful, this lawsuit could toss a monkey wrench into what is undoubtedly the most comprehensive source of news out there.

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