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European copyright laws not as generous on fair use

Google, as well as sites that are aggregating RSS feeds from blogs, are driving a truck through the Fair Use loophole in this country’s copyright laws. Not saying it’s bad, but it’s been an approach of seize copy, pay the creator an agreed price, and defend law suits, if you cannot agree on a price.

May not work as well in Europe. A Brussels court today found Google violated copyright laws by publishing links to Belgian newspapers, including excerpts, without permission and ordered Google to remove them. Experts see this as setting a precedent for future cases in Europe.

Google had already complied, except for clearing its cached files, after a previous law suit on the same issue.

European newspaper editors contend Google generates huge traffic, and in return huge revenue in which the papers do not share. As David Hooper, a newspaper lawyer at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain in London says, “Google will have to reach a deal to make it worthwhile for newspapers to cooperate. There is a tendency for Google to use things for free and reach a deal later.”

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