After months of negotiation and brinksmanship, Google has finally renewed its content-sharing deal with the Associated Press newswire service, according to a brief post on the Google blog and a short statement from the newswire. However, there are few details about the truce between the two companies, which have had a somewhat tense relationship since the newswire threatened to sue the search engine in 2007 for posting excerpts of its content on Google News without permission. Google later agreed to pay the AP for some of its content, and the company said the current arrangement is effectively an extension of that existing deal, which expired earlier this year:
We’ve extended our existing licensing agreement with the Associated Press that permits us to host its content on Google properties such as Google News. We look forward to future collaborations, including on ways Google and AP can work together to create a better user experience and new revenue opportunities.
The Associated Press released a very similar statement, saying it had “reached a new agreement on the continued licensing of AP content,” and that it would be working with Google “in a number of new areas, such as ways to improve discovery and distribution of news.” There were no details on what form these experiments would take, however. Google has hosted Associated Press content on its own servers for a few years, under an arrangement it announced in 2007. Google also hosts content from Agence France-Presse, UK Press Association and the Canadian Press.
The arrangement in 2007 came after the wire service threatened a lawsuit over Google’s use of its news content — even though the search engine’s news portal only uses small excerpts of the AP’s stories, which it argues is allowed under the “fair use” exemption in copyright law. The extension of the deal suggests that the newswire doesn’t want to press the issue, but it’s clear from the lack of comment that neither side wants to go into detail about who capitulated to whom, or in what way.
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