Judge Gives AFP Case Against Google More Time

A US federal judge has declined to dismiss a copyright infringement case filed by Agence France Press against Google News. Instead, she's given both sides more time to assemble evidence before ruling on a dismissal motion.

Judge: Google News lawsuit can proceed from News.com has the rundown. Part of the problem seems to be that the neither AFP nor Google can easily reconstruct Google News pages from 2003 and 2004.

You'd think that if AFP was going to file a copyright infringement case, they'd have recorded exactly this type of evidence to present. But having been involved in a few cases as an expert witness, it doesn't surprise me that the plaintiff has made accusations without saving the key evidence. Note to those planning to sue over some search-related case -- save HTML pages and screenshots!

AFP says that Google News unlawfully incorporated headlines, photographs and story summaries. Google argues they haven't and that AFP has yet to identify specific infringements over the past year since the case was filed.

AFP Content Still In Google News, Probably Via AFP's Own Partners from me earlier this week covers how some AFP content still shows in Google via AFP partners, despite Google saying last year it would drop AFP.

Continued Google News indexing 'boosts AFP case' from IDG is a follow-up with the AFP lawyers saying this may hurt Google further. We'll see. It could well hurt AFP, if Google argues that AFP itself has failed to instruct its partners on how to keep AFP content out of search engines.

Over at ResourceShelf, scroll down in this post, and Gary Price has listed a variety of legal documents in the case. This is a key one that indicates the absurdity of the AFP claim. They've filed a copyright infringement claim, but the document shows how they are depending on Google to go back and give them the evidence to back the claim, via archived Google News papers and photographs. In contrast, this is exactly the type of evidence you'd assume AFP already had assembled prior to filing a claim.