Google is in the process of removing French news agency Agence France Presse (AFP) from its Google News service, which aggregates links to online articles and accompanying photos from about 4,500 news outlets.
Google's decision is a direct reaction to a lawsuit AFP filed against the search engine provider alleging copyright infringement over the inclusion of AFP content in Google News, said Steve Langdon, a Google spokesman, on Monday.
Google doesn't have a timetable for when all AFP links and content will be removed from Google News, but the company is actively working on the matter, Langdon said.
"We allow publishers to opt out of Google News. Most, however, want to be included in Google News because they believe it's a benefit to them and their readers," Langdon added, reading from a prepared statement.
AFP sued Google in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday of last week. The news agency is seeking to recover damages of at least US$17.5 million from Google. AFP also asks the court to forbid Google from including its content in Google News.
An AFP spokesman in the agency's North America headquarters in Washington, D.C., declined to comment on the lawsuit.
A copy of the complaint is available online at http://www.resourceshelf.com/legaldocs/afpvgoogle1.pdf.