Document (#32353)

Author
Keith, S.
Title
Searching for news headlines : connections between unresolved hyperlinking issues and a new battle over copyright online
Source
Macht der Suchmaschinen: The Power of Search Engines. Hrsg.: Machill, M. u. M. Beiler
Imprint
Köln : Halem
Year
2007
Pages
S.202-219
Abstract
In March 2005, the Paris-based news service Agence France Presse (AFP) sued Google Inc. in an American court, charging that the search engine's news aggregator program had illegally infringed the wire service's copyright. The lawsuit, filed in the u.s. District Court for the District of Columbia, claimed that Google News had engaged in the infringement since its launch in September 2002 by »reproducing and publicly displaying AFP's photographs, headlines, and story leads« . The claim also said that Google News had ignored requests that it cease and desist the infringement, and it asked for more than $17 million (about 13.6 million Euros) in damages. Within a few days, Google News was removing links t0 Agence France Presse news articles and photographs.1 However, Agence France Presse said it would still pursue the lawsuit because 0f the licensing fees it was owed as a result of what it claimed was Google's past copyright infringement. The case, which was still pending in early 2007, as the sides struggled to reconstruct and evaluate specific past Google News pageso, was interesting for several reasons. First, it pitted the company that owns the world's most popular search engine against the world's oldest news service; Agence France Presse was founded in Paris in 1835 by Charles-Louis Havas, sometimes known as the father of global journalismo. Second, the copyright-infringement allegations made by AFP had not been made by most of the 4,500 or so other news organizations whose material is used in exactly the same way on Google News every day, though Google did lose somewhat similar cases in German and Belgian courts in 2004 and 2006, respectively. Third, AFP's assertions and Google's counter claims offer an intriguing argument about the nature of key components of traditional and new-media journalism, especially news headlines. Finally, the case warrants further examination because it is essentially an argument over the fundamental nature of Internet hyperlinking. Some commentators have noted that a ruling against Google could be disastrous for blogs, which also often quote news storieso, while other commentators have concluded that a victory for Agence France Presse would call into question the future of online news aggregatorso. This chapter uses the Agence France Presse lawsuit as a way to examine arguments about the legality of news aggregator links to copyrighted material. Using traditional legal research methods, it attempts to put the case into context by referring to key u.s. and European Internet hyperlinking lawsuits from the 1990s through 2006. The chapter also discusses the nature of specific traditional journalistic forms such as headlines and story leads and whether they can be copyrighted. Finally, the chapter argues that out-of-court settlements and conflicting court rulings have left considerable ambiguity around the intersection of copyright, free speech, and information-cataloging concerns, leaving Google News and other aggregators vulnerable to claims of copyright infringement.
Theme
Suchmaschinen
Field
Journalismus
Object
Google
AFP
Location
F

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