Google: signs deal to pay French publishers, threatens to remove its search engine from Australia

Google has signed an agreement with French publishers on Thursday which will stipulate how the online giant will pay for reusing snippets of their (publishers) content, in a first for Europe.

The agreement opens the path to digital copyright payments from Google after months of heated negotiations.

The announcement comes after months of bargaining between Google, French publishers and news agencies over how to implement the recently (last year) enhanced EU copyright rules.

L’Alliance de la Presse d’Information Générale (APIG), which represents the interests of around 300 political and general information press titles in France put out a statement regarding the agreement.

“After long months of negotiations, this agreement is an important milestone, which marks the effective recognition of the neighbouring rights of press publishers and the beginning of their remuneration by digital platforms for the use of their online publications,” said CEO of Groupe Les Echos – Le Parisien, and president of APIG, Pierre Louette.

In November last year, Google had only signed licensing agreements with a few publications in France, including national daily newspapers Le Monde and Le Figaro. 

In other news, following the development of a similar case in Australia, earlier today, Google threatened to disable its search function in Australia if the government proceeds with a media code that would force it and Facebook Inc to pay local media companies for sharing their content.

“In its current form, the Code remains unworkable and if it became law would hurt not just Google, but small publishers, small businesses, and the millions of Australians that use our services every day,” wrote Managing Director of Google Australia and New Zealand, Mel Silva. “There is a way forward that allows Google to pay publishers for value, without breaking Google Search and our business in Australia.”

In a statement titled ‘8 Facts about Google and the News Media Bargaining Code’, Google included other party’s statement regarding the potential damage the proposed code will cause, including a statement by the creator of the World Wide Wide, Tim Berners.

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