Interim agreement with Google / Final remuneration will be determined by Arbitration Board
Under the interim agreement, Google will pay a total of €8.2 million for the past and until the end of 2023 and €3.2 million each year thereafter. All current payments are ad interim and without prejudice to the final decision of the Board.
In the dispute over the use of press content by the search engine, Corint Media and Google have agreed on a licensing arrangement in a first step, according to which Google will initially pay an amount of 3.2 million euros per year. This applies until the Arbitration Board at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) decides on the actual appropriate remuneration. Corint Media and Google have already followed the Arbitration Board’s proposal and accepted a provisional payment of 5.8 million euros by Google for the period from the entry into force of the press protection law on 7 June 2021 until 31 March 2023. What is remarkable about the Arbitration Board’s proposal is that it was the first time that it had followed an emergency application under Section 106 VGG and proposed an interim payment. In doing so, the Arbitration Board set a payment amount that Google had offered Corint Media a year earlier — at the time, however, as a final and not just interim payment. The Arbitration Board proposed the amount as interim payment in summary proceedings brought by Corint Media, as this sum offered the greatest chance for a quick, actual payment by Google.
The interim agreement ends a long dispute in which Google unlawfully used the press content represented by Corint Media without paying remuneration for it. In the ongoing main proceedings before the Arbitration Board, Corint Media continues to advocate for a significantly higher remuneration to be paid by Google .
Managing Director Dr. Christine Jury-Fischer: “The agreement now concluded is probably the first case in Europe and worldwide in which Google is obliged to make a payment to a collecting society for the use of press copyrights following the decision of an independent judicial body — and does not conclude payment agreements subject to strict confidentiality as is usually the case. Where the quasi-monopolist Google otherwise dictates prices, the route via ordinary courts is the only way to achieve an appropriate remuneration for the used content. Corint Media’s settlement with Google shows that even a section of the press market can succeed in resisting Google’s dominant business behaviour if only unity is high. These efforts should — and will — benefit the other publishers if successful.”