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Google settles with Belgian journalists, photographers

Google has reached a settlement with Belgian journalists and photographers in a copyright lawsuit involving links on Google News, according to a Bloomberg News report.

"The agreement removes two of five groups from a Brussels lawsuit that seeks to prevent Google from linking to Belgian newspaper articles for free," the report said. "Company spokeswoman Jessica Powell declined to give the terms of the agreements with copyright agencies Sofam, which represents 3,700 photographers, and Scam, which represents journalists."

Copiepresse, a group that represents French- and German-language newspapers in Belgium, sued Google in February. In September, the court ordered Google to remove Google News links to the newspapers or face fines. Google complied. That case is being reheard and a ruling is expected by early January, a judge said during a hearing late last week.

Google also was sued by Agence France-Presse over similar copyright complaints.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has agreed to remove links to the Belgian newspapers rather than be sued.