EU caught in copyright wrangle

Belgian press sues EU after objecting to the way it links to new stories

Simon Aughton
21 Jan 2008

Belgian newspapers have begun moves to sue the European Commission for copyright violation by linking to stories on their website.

A Brussels court has appointed Luc Golvers, a computer security expert, to look into the claim by Copiepresse, which represents the country's French- and German-language newspapers.

Last February Copiepresse won a landmark victory over Google after it successfully argued that the search giant was in breach of copyright by caching web pages long after they are freely accessible on the original website. Google has appealed.

Margaret Boribon, Copiepresse's secretary general, says that a decision on whether to file a lawsuit will depend on the expert's findings.

The organisation objects to links on two EU Joint Research Centre sites, Europe Media Monitor's (EMM) NewsBrief and NewsExplorer.

Golvers has been authorised to determine how EMM gathers news stories and compile a list of the stories on the EMM website as well as other servers to which the EMM has access. He has also been instructed to take web logs from the web servers.

The European Commission has yet to respond.

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