It is both the snippets in search results as well as the consolidated news news.google.com, etc.
This could be as much a bargaining ploy, i.e. there should be payment for news.google.com, but perhaps not the snippets.
To a comment below, it is about following the money, and it is tough I think for news services today. I think most of us appreciate the news, but the system has not "worked out" the cost/value of quality news. Let's face it, the average blog is somewhat biased and often poorly researched .... case in point this article which does not go into enough the most basic of details.
If this is what will pass in the future for "reporting", then that is not good. Democracy thrives on the free and somewhat unbridled flow of quality information.
While I don't disagree, we finally cancelled the Sunday only delivery at my house this summer, it can be quite difficult to find an equivalent surface cover for those potato peels at Thanksgiving or painting project in the garage. Despite all unread newspaper I've recycled and tossed, it is sorely missed when needed.
Google has a simple means to flag a page to not be searched. If the flag is not set, Google can claim the site wanted Google to include the site in the search. Furthermore, Google can argue that they are providing a service in providing free advertizing for the newspaper sites. Google is using the news snippits and links send readers to the newspaper site.
While I am not knowledgeable of European law, this case looks like a money grab by the newspaper publishers (or their lawyers).
Newspapers are trying to prolong the inevitable. Printing hard copy and delivering it by hand is inefficient, wasteful in resources and time. Plus it is quickly reaching the end of its product life.
On demand, digital news is the new standard. The days of waiting for news is over. Long live the newpapre, all hail digital media.
Just my opinion,
Is the lawsuit about just displaying a line or two of text, or is about scraping a significant part of the article's content, as is done on news.google.com ?
If the former, I agree it should be allowed because it's an essential function of search. If it's the latter, I can sympathize with the content creators, since they are losing out on eyeballs and ad revenue.