European Newspapers Planning to Sue Google News

World Association of Newspapers Google News is in hot water again, the Paris-based World Association of Newspapers (WAN) announced that it was planning to take news sites like Google News to court. The problem is sites like Google News aggregate news content from other news sites, but do not pay for access.

WAN President Gavin O’Reilly said “The internet search engines are increasingly aiming their strategic efforts at traditional content originators and aggregators like newspaper publishers,”

“The irony is that these search engines exist, largely, because of the traditional news and content aggregators and profit at their expense,” he added.

O’Reilly declared the actions of Google News the “napsterization”‘ of content, alluding to the long fight between the music download service by Napster and the record industry. O’Reilly dismissed any talk that these services are acting as some kind of Robin Hood by freeing the content from greedy providers.

“Google, Yahoo and other search engines are not some new breed of social benefactors of information — they are assuredly commercial,” he argued.

WAN is expected to seek advice from Charlie McCreevy, European Union Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, and Ms. Viviane Reding, the Commissioner for Information Society and Media, on possible future legal steps.

WAN will also explore ways that it could offer its news feeds to these services, while charging royalty from the use of its content.

The World Association of Newspapers consists of some 73 national newspaper associations across Europe, representing 18,000 newspapers. If WAN is able to successfully sue Google over its news service other companies will most definitely follow the same route.