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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : September 22, 2006

Publishers Want Control of Search Results

A Belgian court ruling could change the way large search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN give search results. The court ruled that some Google searches infringes on the copyright of French and German newspapers by reproducing parts of the articles in snippets.

by Kristina Knight

According to Reuters, Global publishers had already planned to launch an automated system that would grant permission to use their content. Because of the court ruling, their plans have been moved up to begin testing before the end of the year.

"This system is intended to remove completely any rights conflicts between publishers and search engines," said Gavin O’Reilly, chairman of the World Association of Newspapers, which is spearheading the effort.

The cost of Automated Content Access Protocol hasn’t been released, however, publishers are said to have budgeted more than $550 million for advice from third-party experts.

Search engines automatically return results from magazines, newspapers and books, many times linking back to the publication’s own Web site. That way users can read the entire item, not just a snippet. Many publishers feel that search engines are infringing on their rights by caching, aggregating and sometimes creating their own content.

In the past, courts have upheld how search engines operate, so the ruling against Google was something of a surprise. Google has appealed the ruling.

Tags: Google, MSN, search marketing, Yahoo

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