Google has to negotiate with French media about the so-called ‘neighbouring rights’ to news reports of which the internet giant spreads fragments on its platform.
This has been decided by an appeal court in Paris.
The French case will be closely followed in other European countries. France was the first EU country to apply a European directive on related rights to copyright. Those rights provide remuneration for content, mainly photos and videos, which is distributed through online platforms.
Google refused to provide funding and stopped showing previews of news stories if it wasn’t allowed to do so for free.
Because the media groups are highly dependent on traffic from search engines such as Google (between 26 and 90 percent), they could hardly help but agree to Google’s terms and conditions.
On April 9, the French publishers got the competition authority on their side. The Autorité de la Concurrence obliged Google to negotiate the fees.
The American internet giant then went to court, but cannot be proved right. Earlier this week, Google announced that it is ‘close to an agreement’ with the publishers.