Goog­le com­pel­led to nego­tia­te with publis­hers in Fran­ce

A French ruling com­pel­ling Goog­le to nego­tia­te with publis­hers over pay­ments for their con­tent should be a cau­se of cele­bra­ti­on for news orga­ni­sa­ti­ons world­wi­de.

Pres­se Release
Paris, 2020-04-24

This is the view of VG Media, a body which collects copy­right pay­ments on behalf of hund­reds of Ger­man media com­pa­nies and is figh­t­ing for a simi­lar deal in that coun­try. On Thurs­day, France’s com­pe­ti­ti­on aut­ho­ri­ty orde­red the search engi­ne giant to nego­tia­te with publis­hers over pay­ment terms for the use of their con­tent in both Goog­le News and search engi­ne results. The move fol­lows Euro­pean copy­right reform which last year streng­t­he­ned the rights of news publis­hers to enfor­ce their copy­right.

Fran­ce exten­ded the rights of publis­hers in Octo­ber 2019 with the result that Goog­le chan­ged the way it dis­plays search results in Fran­ce: swit­ching to showing head­lines and URLs only, but not arti­cle snip­pets. Now French aut­ho­ri­ties have said that Goog­le is abusing its domi­nant mar­ket posi­ti­on and must ins­tead nego­tia­te with French publis­hers to fair­ly remu­ne­ra­te them for the use of their con­tent.

A pre­vious attempt by Spain to make Goog­le pay­ments to publis­hers man­da­to­ry resul­ted in the search giant clo­sing down its Goog­le News ser­vice in the coun­try. Google’s vice pre­si­dent for news Richard Gin­gras said: “Sin­ce the Euro­pean Copy­right law came into for­ce in Fran­ce last year, we have been enga­ging with publis­hers to incre­a­se our sup­port and invest­ment in news.

“We will com­ply with the FCA’s order while we review it and con­ti­nue tho­se nego­tia­ti­ons.”

By Domi­nic Pons­ford and Andrew Hug­hes

Copyright International Media