GoogleGoogle News has been ordered by a Belgian court to stop publishing snippets of stories by French-language newspapers or face hefty fines.

The ruling, issued earlier this month, gave Google until today to comply with demands to de-list or face paying a daily fine of a million euros (£675,000 pounds).

The complaint against the search engine was lodged by Copiepresse, the company responsible for the copyright interests of French and German-language newspapers in Belgium.

According to Reuters, claimed to have removed all offending links from its site and was in the process of removing them from other sites.

"We are asking for Google to pay and seek our authorisation to use our content ... Google sells advertising and makes money on our content," Margaret Boribon, general secretary of Copiepresse, told Reuters.

Google News sites do not carry any advertising, however Google search results, which can link to news stories, can carry paid for adverts.

Boribon added that she was informing her European counterparts about the Belgian court ruling, and that similar actions could be brought elsewhere in Europe.

The ruling could send a shockwave through Google as several other media groups have become concerned about their content being given away for free via search engines.

A Google spokesperson said the company intended to appeal against the decision and that it was policy to remove any newspaper's content from its index if asked.

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