LawFuel – Google Inc has settled a copyright dispute with Agence Franc…

LawFuel – Google Inc has settled a copyright dispute with Agence France-Presse permitting the search engine to post parts of the agency’s news and photos onto its Google News site.

In a joint statement, the two companies said the settlement allows Google to post AFP content on Google News and other services. Terms of the pact were not disclosed, although some payment or royalty arrangement with the Agency will almost certainly have been negotiated.

The AFP lawsuit was being closely watched in the media industry as it sought damages and interest as well as to bar the use of AFP text and photos without prior permission. AFP agreed to withdraw the action.

Agence France-Presse filed the suit two years ago accusing the Web search company of copyright infringement for posting AFP headlines, news summaries and photos, without the news agency’s permission, on its automated Google News site.

“The most significant copyright case against Google News, that filed by Agence France-Presse back in March 2005, has now ended,” Danny Sullivan, a top analyst of the Web search industry, said of the deal on his Search Engine Land blog.

Google settled a separate dispute with The Associated Press in August. At that time the two companies announced a new business relationship under which Google would pay AP for news and photos, but financial details of that arrangement were not disclosed.

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