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Agence France Presse sues Google over news site

French news service seeks damages of at least $17.5 million and an order barring Google News from displaying its content.

Agence France Presse has sued Google, alleging the Web search leader includes AFP's photos, news headlines and stories on its news site without permission.

The French news service is seeking damages of at least $17.5 million and an order barring Google News from displaying AFP photographs, news headlines or story leads, according to the suit filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Google was not immediately available for comment. AFP's lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment on the suit.

AFP sells subscriptions to its content and does not provide it for free. Google News gathers photos and news stories from around the Web and posts them on its news site, which is free to users.

"Without AFP's authorization, defendant is continuously and willfully reproducing and publicly displaying AFP's photographs, headlines and story leads on its Google News Web pages," AFP charged in its lawsuit.

AFP said it has informed Google that it is not authorized to use AFP's copyrighted material as it does and has asked Google to cease and desist from infringing its copyright work.

AFP alleged that Google has ignored such requests and as of the filing date of the lawsuit "continues in an unabated manner to violate AFP's copyrights."

Story Copyright © 2005 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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