Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) ordered to compensate French news agencies for their content as new European copyright law begins to bite – Wccftech


Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) has been instructed by the French Competition Authority (FCA) to grant monetary compensation to French publishing houses and press agencies for the use of their content. This development marks an aberration for the search giant which, until now, has largely avoided direct content agreements.

The French Competition Authority said in a statement:

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“Google’s practices have caused serious and immediate damage to the press sector, while the economic situation of publishers and news agencies is otherwise fragile and the law [is] on the contrary, aiming to improve the conditions of remuneration they derive from content produced by journalists. “

Google, for its part, replied that it would comply with the verdict rendered by the antitrust regulator on a complaint filed by unions representing French publishers. Google France said:

“Since the entry into force of European copyright law in France last year, we have engaged with publishers to increase our support and investment in news.”

The declaration also reads:

“We will respect the French FCA order while we review it and continue these negotiations.”

This problem appeared last year when Google announced that it would only show news headlines in France, which precludes the need for licensing agreements with publishers and news agencies. French for extracts of stories.

The Google announcement angered French authorities who are actively working to implement the new European copyright law. As a reminder, the new law is designed to guarantee fair remuneration to artists, musicians and publishers for their content. In addition, the law makes online platforms, such as Google’s YouTube, legally responsible for content generated by users hosted in the EU, which requires license agreements with the rights holders of that content.

Even though Google has continued to state publicly that it would refuse to “pay for links” in principle, it has entered into private negotiations with French publishers and other stakeholders to devise an appropriate compensation mechanism. According to the Financial Times, Google is currently exploring various mechanisms to provide monetary compensation, including direct license agreements with some of the largest French media groups such as Le Monde and Le Figaro.

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Keep in mind that Google has already set up a somewhat similar mechanism in the United States where the technological titan provides monetary compensation for the audio briefings presented on its “ Google Assistant ” platform.

However, the director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford – Rasmus Kleis Nielsen – believes that Google’s license agreements with French publishers and news agencies will have a very narrow scope. As quoted by the Financial Times, Nielsen said:

“Since there are many publishers competing for attention. . . it seems very likely that any license agreement will involve a small subset of truly premium publishers. “

Of course, this is not the only altercation that Google has had with the French authorities in recent months. In September 2019, Google entered into a $ 1.1 billion deal with French regulators to exploit tax loopholes to pay negligible taxes in French jurisdiction.