Friday, 09 October 2020 11:50

France orders Google to open talks with news publishers over pay Featured

France orders Google to open talks with news publishers over pay Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Google's bid to mollify publishers in France by offering to strike a deal to pay them for their news has been upstaged by an appeals court ordering the search company to open talks with publishers to use their content.

Reuters reported that this would pave the way for a national deal and was likely to be of interest to other countries which are also trying to get big American digital platforms to pay for using news.

New EU copyright rules have enshrined a "neighbouring right" which allows publishers to seek a fee from digital companies who show news snippets.

Australia is in the process of finalising a mandatory code that would make it compulsory for Google and also Facebook to pay for using local news. The two companies have fought the bid from the start but a law setting terms is likely to be passed before the year ends.

France’s anti-trust chief Isabelle de Silva said: “It’s a world first for such a case. Google’s conduct amounted to saying: I’m offering you a contract under which you give me all your rights for no remuneration."

On 2 October, Sundar Pichai, the head of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, announced that the company will put up US$1 billion (A$1.39 billion) for an initiative called the Google News Showcase, which would "pay publishers to create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience".

The French arrangement is about finding a sustainable methodology to remunerate publishers and news agencies.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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