Coexistence of collective rights management and Google News Showcase successful
First publishers are using parallel participation in Google News Showcase to continue to manage their press publishers’ right through Corint Media. Other publishers are signalling their interest in bringing their rights to Corint Media for the first time or again. This strengthens the joint enforcement before the German arbitration board.
The solution developed by Corint Media for participation in Google News Showcase with simultaneous exercise of press publishers’ right by Corint Media has been very well received by many publishers. Some publishers represented by Corint Media have already signed a contract with Google to participate in Showcase. At the same time, several publishers who are already participating in Google News Showcase have signalled their interest in having the press neighbouring right administered by Corint Media. In individual cases, “Extended News Previews” contracts concluded with Google, which include the licensing of press performance rights, would have to be cancelled or not extended.
The solution developed by Corint Media in autumn 2023 and presented at the end of the year means that interested press publishers will in future be able to individually agree to the use of their rights relating to the Google News Showcase product — while continuing to exercise their press publishers’ right via Corint Media. This was made possible, among other things, by the investigation of Showcase by the German Federal Cartel Office. In its final report, the Federal Cartel Office declared that the Google product Showcase should not hinder the enforcement of press neighbouring rights.
The importance of the collective enforcement of press performance protection law is currently more evident than ever with the cancellation of Facebook News. The internet company Meta discontinued its Facebook News product in December last year. This also means the end of remuneration payments for participating publishers. However, the social networks belonging to Meta, such as Instagram and Facebook, continue to use news content — as do the other big tech companies. The shutdown of Facebook News shows how unsustainable individual contracts with Big Tech companies for the use of press content are. In a corresponding market environment, only agreements that are based on binding legal foundations such as the copyright law will therefore lead to sustainable revenue. The enforcement of appropriate remuneration for the continued use of content by search engines, aggregators or social networks — and in future also artificial intelligence applications — will therefore continue to be of crucial importance for the creation of a further source of income for press publishers.
Managing Director Dr. Christine Jury-Fischer: “We are delighted that the solution provided has been accepted by the market and that the payment asymmetries created can be eliminated in future. The enforcement of press neighbouring rights will enter a decisive phase in 2024. The market has extensively recognised that the payments offered by Google for the ancillary copyright are not even remotely appropriate. It is obvious that publishers must ensure appropriate pricing for their right with the help of independent bodies, otherwise they will remain “stuck” at the abusively low level of remuneration for Extended News Previews (ENP) payments dictated by Google. This would not only be bad for the smaller publishers affected by digital disruption, but also for the big players in the industry, as the already low showcase payments can evaporate at any time — as we have just seen with Facebook News. We will therefore continue to advocate resolutely before the arbitration board to ensure that the added value generated by Google and other tech platforms through the use of publishing content is appropriately priced.”