Microsoft give up newspapers' copyright content without a court battle

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In the case of Microsoft versus Copiepresse, the Belgian press association that has already stifled Google and wants to do the same to Microsoft for publishing excerpts of newspapers on its news search results, Microsoft has decided to concede without wasting time in the courts, and will remove all fresh and archived content from its Live Search engine and Newsbot news aggregator.

It’s a move that should satisfy CopiePresse for the time being, until they summon up enough strength to go after the next copyright-violating news aggregator. Presumably traffic to the affected newspapers’ websites is already tumbling dramatically as no-one can find them in two of the largest news engines any longer. Or maybe not…

In a slightly confusing statement, Microsoft said “Microsoft, however, underlines that these measures do not imply any acknowledgement or recognition of Copiepresse’s rights and that it reserves all rights.” I’m not sure whether ‘it’ is Microsoft or Copiepresse, but regardless of that, the content’s gone.

I hope Copiepresse don’t decide some way down the line that actually they quite liked the traffic after all, and beg for their re-inclusion in Google and MSN. I know what I’d say.

I would link to Copiepresse but they obviously don’t want the Google juice…

Andy Merrett