Belgian newspapers ask Yahoo to remove news links

A group of Belgian newspapers has asked Yahoo to remove links to their archived stories from its Web search service, claiming they infringe copyright laws, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report, quoting lawyers, said the move follows a legal challenge by the group against Google that has seen Belgian newspaper content stripped from Google News pending a court ruling expected early this year.

In a statement, Yahoo! France insisted it 'respects the copyright of content owners' and said it would 'respond in an appropriate manner' to the complaint.

Lawyers acting for Copiepresse, a copyright protection group representing 19, mostly French-language, newspapers, sent the legal warning to Yahoo France.

They complain that the search engine's 'cached' links offered free access to archived articles that the papers usually sell on a subscription basis, the Associated Press further reported.