Google, Belgian papers reach accord on copyright

BRUSSELS – Google says it has reached an agreement over copyright issues with a group of French-language Belgian newspapers, ending a six-year dispute.

In a joint statement Thursday, Google and groups representing the papers and authors announced they had reached agreements to end legal proceedings and instead build business partnerships.

The newspapers filed a lawsuit against Google in 2006 claiming the web giant had no right to post links to their articles on Google News without payment or permission. They won, and a Belgian appeals court upheld their victory in May.

Google then blocked the papers from its web search results, but later relented, saying it had obtained the papers’ legal consent to post their articles.

The parties also agreed to promote each other’s services by placing Google advertising in publishers’ media.

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