Agence France-Presse (AFP) filed a suit against Google in 2005 because Google News used snippets and thumbnails from AFP's stories. Last week, the two companies settled the copyright lawsuit, without disclosing the terms of the agreement.
The interesting thing here is that Google didn't pay AFP to use snippets from its news stories (which are covered by fair use), but for the full content of the articles.
Google said the deal "will enable the use of AFP's newswire content in innovative, new ways that will dramatically improve the way users experience newswire content on the Internet".
Last year, Google made a similar deal with Associated Press. "The license in this agreement provides for new uses of original AP content for features and products we will introduce in the future. We are very excited about the innovative new products we will build with full access to this content," said at that time a Google spokeswoman.
So we know that Google builds a new version of Google News that includes full content from AP and AFP. Currently, Google News automatically aggregates news stories from thousands of sources, groups related news and shows snippets and thumbnails, similar to the web search results.
We also know that there's a product called Universal Search, that could integrate news results into standard search results. Google Blog Search and Google News seem closer than ever.
Philipp Lenssen found that Google tested a prototype which allows "other news sources, and organizations and individuals mentioned in news stories to debate specific points."
So how do you think the new Google News will look like, will Google choose the Yahoo News path and what do you expect to see in an "universal search"?