“A task force of global and European publishers organizations, led by the World Association of Newspapers, has agreed to work together to examine the options open to publishers to assert their rights to recognition and recompense, and to ultimately improve the relationships between content creators/producers and news aggregators and search engines.”
This is not as yet a threat of litigation though the press release specifically refers to the possibility of “copyright enforcement and brand infringement” and mutters darkly about “Napsterization’ of content” („Napsterisierung“ in the German version). At least part of the campaign will be political. The press release states that the Association seeks meetings with Charlie McCreevy and Viviane Reding. Ominously, the offices of the Newspaper Association of America which is the US member are located in a street in Vienna, Virginia called Gallows Road. Further info from Larry Kilman, Director of Communications, WAN, 7 rue Geoffroy St Hilaire, 75005 Paris France. T: +33 1 47 42 85 00. E: email@example.com.
PS. I have to say I feel a bit sorry for the poor old search engines in view of the bad press Google got for the deal that it made with the Chinese government. Even a censored version of the search engine is a pretty powerful info gathering tool for the Chinese public. As it showed the previous week over their refusal tamely to hand over search data, Google does at least stand up for the civil liberties and privacy of its American customers.