Google has reached an agreement with two groups representing authors and photographers in Belgium that had objected to the way the company indexes and displays their content on its Google News website.The agreements with Sofam, which says it represents 3,700 photographers, and Scam, which represents 20,000 writers, mark the first steps by Google in resolving a copyright lawsuit that forced it to remove French- and German-language Belgian newspaper content from its website.\n\n\n\nOn Friday, a judge in Brussels heard arguments in that case, filed by a group of newspaper publishers, Copiepresse. Sofam (Societe Multimedia des Auteurs des Arts Visuels) and Scam (Societe Civile des Auteurs Multimedia) were among several smaller groups that had joined Copiepresse in its legal action."We reached an agreement with Sofam and Scam that allows us to make extensive use of their content," Google spokeswoman Jessica Powell said on Monday.The agreement allows Google to use content from the groups in "new ways" that "go beyond what copyright law allows," she said. She declined to say if Google is paying the groups or to provide further details. Google has signed a deal to use content from the Associated Press newswire that it described in similar language.Copiepresse has complained that Google violates its members\u2019 copyrights by indexing their content and displaying it on Google News without asking permission. Google says the use is legitimate because it shows only a snippet of news stories, and because it directs users to the publications\u2019 websites to read the full story.On Friday, the judge in Brussels said she would give her verdict in the case early next year.Google News has also run into trouble in Scandinavia, where it launched two weeks ago. The company delayed the introduction of the news service in Denmark after publishers there objected to having to "opt out" if they didn\u2019t want their content displayed on Google\u2019s website. And a publishing group in Norway has protested the use of its members\u2019 news photographs, which it says is not permitted under Norwegian copyright law.Google has declined to comment on talks with any particular publishing groups, but says it is open to discussions to resolve disputes.-James Niccolai, IDG News Service (Paris Bureau)Related Links:\n\nGoogle Hit With Copyright Suit Over Video Site\n\nGoogle Downplays Video Lawsuit\n\nGoogle Filing Reveals Video Lawsuit\n\nGoogle Shares Break $500 Mark for 1st TimeCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.