Google follows Belgian court order

US Internet search giant Google complied with a court order and posted on its Belgian Web sites a copyright ruling that went against the giant online information provider, an AFP report said.

A Belgian tribunal had ordered Google to post the judgment, which appeared Saturday on the search engine's "google.be" site and its information site "news.google.be," the report said.

On September 5, a lower court ordered Google News to stop reproducing content from French-language and German-language newspapers in Belgium on its Belgian site, the report said.

The Californian group, under threat of 1-million-euro-a-day fines, more or less complied with that ruling, although there was some grumbling about its archive section, the report said.

Google was also liable to pay another half a million euros per day if it failed to publish the ruling on its Belgian site continuously for five days, the report further said.

Google lawyers had called that decision "completely disproportionate."

A new hearing on the more substantive issue of publishing material had been scheduled for November 24, the report said.

Belgian newspapers had attacked Google News at the beginning of the year because the US company had not asked them for permission to use their content, articles, photographs and graphics, and had not paid the publications, the AFP report further said.

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