Agence France Presse Sues Google News

Search Engine Journal reports that French wire service Agence France Presse is suing news aggregator GoogleNews for unauthorized use of its photos and news headlines. Ironically, I found the story via GoogleNews.

Google News Sued by Agence France Presse

Google News, Google̢۪s news aggregation service which recently added new personalization features, has been sued by Agence France Presse. Agence France Presse alleges that Google includes AFP̢۪s photos, stories and news headlines on Google News without permission from Agence France Presse. AFP is seeking damages of around $17.5 million and an order barring Google News from displaying its copyrighted material.

The law suit was filed this week on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The basis around the law suit is that Agence France Presse sells subscriptions to its new content. Google News however crawls photos and news stories from AFP, posts the stories on Google News, and then Google News readers clcik over to the AFP site. Although this may sound good for traffic to AFP and the possibility of selling new subscriptions, one problem seems to be that Google News indexes the entire news story from a site, unlike RSS syndication which only indexes an excerpt.

GoogleNews is doing the same thing with Outside the Beltway and is welcome to do so.

One small correction: RSS can feature the entirety of the site’s content or a limited excerpt, depending on the parameters set by the site owner.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Media
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.