Google inks agreement in France on paying publishers for news reuse – TechCrunch

Google has entered into an agreement with a consortium of French publishers on how it will pay for reuse of snippets of their content. This is a result of the application of a ‘neighboring right’ to the news which was transferred to national law Pan-European Union copyright reform Agreed back in 2019.

The tech giant had sought to avoid paying French publishers for the use of content snippets in its news aggregation and search products that are no longer displayed in the country.

But in In april last year The French contest watchdog ended its attempt to evade payment, using an immediate process known as interim measures – improperly removing Google’s unilateral withdrawal of snippets and damaging the press area, And is likely to misuse a dominant market position.

A few months Later Google lost an appeal against the watchdog’s injunction, ordering it to negotiate to pay for the reuse of snippets – little choice but to leave it at the table with French publishers and pay to talk.

L’aliance de la presses d’information générale (APIG), which represents the interests of around 300 political and general information press titles in France, today announced the Framework Agreement, writing that it set the terms of negotiation by Google members for reuse of their content Does.

In a statement, Pierre Luit, CEO of the group Les Lesos – Le Parisien and president of L’Aléans, said, “After long months of negotiations, the agreement marks an important milestone, marking the effective recognition of neighboring rights to the press Does. The introduction of their remuneration by digital platforms for publishers and their use of online publishing. “

Google also excluded blog post – After months of negotiations with French publishers, it said it was a major step forward.

The agreement “establishes a framework within which Google will negotiate individual licensing agreements with IPG-certified publishers within APG’s membership, while reflecting the principles of the law”, it said.

IPG authentication Refers to a situation in which online media organizations in France can meet certain quality standards, such as having at least one professional journalist on staff and a main objective to create lasting and consistent content that can be seen as political and general to another Provides information. Wide and diverse audience.

“These agreements will cover the neighboring rights of publishers, and allow for participation in the News Showcase, a new licensing program recently launched by Google to provide readers with access to rich content,” Google added Referenced the news partnership program. Announced Last year – who said it would be an early $ 1BN investment.

Google has not confirmed how much money will be distributed to publishers in France only under the agreed framework on content reuse that is directly linked to neighboring rights.

And the News Showcase program that Google moved quickly over the past year to help design it with ease has been made about the value of individual payments to publishers for their content It may be legally required for reuse.

Tech giant told us that it is in talks with publishers in many countries, agreements for which will be negotiated News showcase – A program that is not limited to the EU.

It also stated that the earlier investments announced with publishers under the showcase come as it anticipates a legal system that may exist once the EU’s copyright directive is implemented in other countries, adding that it will be subject to laws Will evaluate when they are offered.

(NB: France was one of the first European Union countries to punch in to move the copyright directive; the application of the neighboring right would expand throughout the block as other member states block the directive in national law.)

Specifically on the French agreements, Google stated that they are for its news showcase, but also inclusive for the publisher’s neighboring rights, as we noted the separation between payments made under the French Framework and Google’s news showcase I asked If so clear as mud.

The tech giant told us that it has reached individual agreements with a handful of French publishers so far, including (leading national newspaper titles) Le Monde, Le Figaro and Libération.

It added that the payment would go directly to publishers and the terms would not be disclosed – given that they were strictly confidential. It has also been said that these different deals with publishers take care of the right framework, but also reflect the needs and differences of the individual publisher.

On the criteria for payment of neighboring rights, Google’s blog post states: “The remuneration included in these licensing agreements is based on criteria such as the publisher’s political and general information (IPG certified publishers), the daily volume of publications and its monthly internet traffic. . “

On this, Google also told us The focus is on IPG publishers as there is also French law (it points to a line of legislation that states: “The amount of this remuneration is paid to elements such as human, material and financial investments made by publishers and press agencies.” Is taken into account. The importance of political and general information to press publications and the use of press publications by online public communication services. “.

But it added that its door is open for discussion with other non-APIG publishers.

We also reached out to L’Alliance with questions and will update this report with any feedback.

Although individual payments to publishers are not being disclosed under the French Framework, the agreement looks like a major victory for Europe’s press sector – which expanded copyright on news snippets through the EU’s controversial copyright reform Lobbied extensively to do.

Some individual EU member states – including Germany and Spain – attempted to get Google to pay publishers by culminating similar copyright provisions in earlier national legislation. But in those instances, Google forced publishers to give it away for free (via) Traffic-hungry publishers stop playing against each other) or Shut down Google News completely. So some pay is clearly better Nada.

That said, details of the terms of the individual deals have not been disclosed – and there is no clarity on how remuneration will be calculated – much is left when Google pays for news reuse .

Neither Google nor L’Alliance stated how much money would be distributed to the covered publishers under the French agreement.

Another issue we are curious about is how the framework will protect publishers from changes to Google’s search algorithms that may negatively impact traffic to their sites.

It seems important that monthly traffic is one of the criteria being used to determine payment. (And it’s not hard to find Examples Such negative search ‘blips’.)

It also seems clear that the more publishers Google can attract to its ‘News Showcase’ event, the more options Google will have to display news snippets in its products – and therefore more to set it at a price It is power.

Hence the long-term impact of the application of the EU’s Copyright Directive on the publisher’s revenue – and, indeed, how it can affect the quality of online journalism that accelerates the eyes of Google Internet users – can be seen.

The investigation of the French competition watchdog is also ongoing Google said it is engaged in that investigation.

In 2019 The national watchdog slapped Google with a fine of € 150 million for abusing its dominant position in the online search advertising market – “opaque and difficult to understand” for implementing in its advertising platforms, Google ads and “them” Cleared it for Inappropriately and randomly. “

Whereas, the last October, The US Department of Justice filed a no-confidence motion against Google – alleging that the company was “maintaining a monopoly in markets for search services, search advertising and general search text advertising in general”.

The UK competition watchdog has also raised concerns about Google and Facebook’s advertising market dominance To think about breaking Google Back in 2019. The UK government has said that it will Establish competition supporter To place limitations on large technology.