French-language Belgian newspapers Thursday hailed a compromise deal reached with Google to end a six-year legal dispute over copyright as "the most reasonable choice".
Under the deal announced in Paris the previous day, daily papers such as Le Soir or La Libre Belgique will receive compensation for the lengthy judicial proceedings but will not be paid by the search engine for content offered on the site, as they had demanded.
The deal contrasts with a bitter row being fought across the border in France where news media sites want to make the US Internet giant pay to display links to their content.
The Belgian press instead has decided to collaborate with Google under the deal that calls for the search engine on the one hand to purchase advertising space in the papers and for the papers to buy key-word links on the other.
The agreement will enable the papers to be referenced on Google News after six years of absence, causing a loss of visibility and thus of advertising revenue.
"We did the sums and it was the most reasonable choice," said Francois Le Hodey, representative for the daily Belgian press, at a telephone press conference.
"Getting an agreement in 2012 is not the same thing as winning a legal case in 2018. The digital revolution is speeding up," he said.
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