Agence France-Presse is suing Google for $17.5 million, apparently, because Agence France-Presse doesn't know how to write a robots.txt file. (The image of the faux-French cartoon character, Pepe LePew, is linked from a German site.)
The Agence suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., alleges Google News "stole" its content by linkig to it, with headlines and inserting thumbnails of photos. No claim is made that Google cached whole copies of the news agency's stories.
A U.S. court ruled in 2000 that it's perfectly legal to link deep into another site. But it is also legal to write a program that prevents robots from linking to any page.
On the next page is the code Agence France-Presse could easily insert into a file, robots.txt, linked to its home page, preventing all links from its site:
# go away
If Agence France-Presse has this code on its main page and Google's robot somehow ignored it, there might be a case. (It they want to pay me, I can send them a link from the page where I got this.)
My guess is they don't. But cut-and-paste this code into a robots.txt file on your home page, Messieur, and your problems will be over.
We have no intention here of dignifying the matter further, say with a link even to the home page of Agence France-Presse.
You can't demand payment for your own negligence.
UPDATE: I checked the two Agence France-Presse sites, afp.com and agencefrancepresse.com. No robots.txt file on either one.