A court forced Google on Monday to remove all French and German language newspapers published in Belgium from its Google News search service.The order comes after an association of local publishers sued the search engine giant successfully for copyright abuse, Google said Monday.Copiepresse, an organization that helps protect the copyright of some of Belgium\u2019s best-known newspapers including Le Soir and Le Libre Belgique, sued Google for publishing summaries of the newspapers\u2019 stories, along with a link to the newspapers\u2019 own sites.The court warned Google that failure to remove all material from the Belgian newspapers from Google news by Monday would result in daily fines of about US$1 million.The case was heard on Sept. 5 at the Belgian court of first instance, but Google claims it didn\u2019t find out about the court hearing and its outcome until last Friday."We were not able to make our case directly to the judge. We are disappointed by the decision, which we believe is flawed and which we intend to appeal,\u201d said D.J. Collins, a spokesman for Google based in London. Reports earlier Monday claimed that articles from the newspapers were still appearing on the Google News search engine, but none were visible in the early afternoon local time. Collins said his company was complying: "We have removed the relevant sources," he said.Copiepresse wasn\u2019t immediately available for comment, but in statements to journalists earlier in the day the organization\u2019s general secretary, Margaret Boribon, said legal action against Google was necessary because the company was profiting from the work of the newspapers."We are asking for Google to pay and seek our authorization to use our content," Boribon told news agencies including Reuters. Collins dismissed the case as "entirely unnecessary.""Google has a clear policy of respecting the wishes of content owners. If a newspaper does not want to be part of Google News, we remove their content from our index. All they have to do is ask. There is no need for legal action and all the associated costs," he said.Google News benefits publishers, he added, by making it easier for people to find their content and driving large numbers of users to their websites. "It is important to remember that we never show more than the headlines and a few snippets of text. If people want to read the entire story they have to click through to the newspapers\u2019 website," he said.The case involving the Belgian newspaper publishers is similar to legal action brought against Google by the French national news agency Agence France Presse a year and a half ago. AFP generates revenue by charging fees to news outlets that subscribe to its wire service. In its complaint, AFP charges Google with copyright violation, alleging that, as a nonsubscriber to AFP, Google has no right to include AFP content in Google News. That case is still ongoing.-Paul Meller, IDG News Service (Brussels Bureau)Related Links:\n\nApple \u2018iTV\u2019 Could Feature Google Video Content\n\nStudy: Google Losing Chinese Users\n\nGoogle Earth Software Gets EnhancementsCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.