Payback time?

Google has moved to remove material of Agence France Presse from its Google News service, in response to a suit the European news outlet filed last week, according to Google. In a first test of publishers' rights against online news aggregators like Google News, AFP charged the search giant with using its news content and photos without permission, and sued for $17.5 million in damages.

Strange. Google's spokesman Steve Langdon said that Google allows "publishers to opt out of Google News. Most publishers, however, want to be included in Google News because they believe it is a benefit to them and their readers."

Despite that alternative, APF went ahead with its lawsuit anyway. This begs the question, are publishers simply sick of Google News's power in the distribution of their news? Is it payback time?

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