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Google reaches copyright agreement with Belgian papers

Google has reached a settlement with Belgian news publications Rossel and IPM Belgium, bringing an end to a six-year copyright dispute.

The terms will see both sides promote the other’s services, with Google expected to help publishers with distribution on mobile devices and to help them enforce reader payment schemes such as subscriptions, while continuing to display Belgian news content for free.

Publications will also be afforded the ability to remove themselves from Google’s search parameters at any time, including the Google News filter.

"Google, the publishers and the authors, even if they retain different legal positions, agree upon the opportunity to end the legal proceedings and to leave those disagreements behind," reads a joint statement.

“From now on Google and Belgian French-language publishers will partner on a broad range of business initiatives."

Google may use the agreement as a model of resolution for similar conflicts in other territories. Publishers in France, Brazil, Germany and other countries are all currently at loggerheads with Google over copyright issues.

Image Credit: Flickr (kalexanderson)