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Google signs contracts with a handful of French press publishers

Am 24. November 2020 - 11:12 Uhr von Tom Hirche

France has already introduced an ancillary copyright for press publishers. Google was instructed by the state to enter into negotiations with the press publishers. The first contracts have now been signed.

By June 2021, all EU member states must have implemented the new DSM directive in their own national law. France was in a particular hurry; the implementation already took place in 2019. Since then, the French press publishers have their own ancillary copyright.

In response, Google announced in September 2019 that it would be adjusting the way press articles are displayed in search results. In the future, only the headline should be displayed. A preview image and a preview text would be omitted, unless a press publisher expressly agrees to this.

After publishers protested, the French competition authority ("Autorité de la concurrence") took action. It accused Google of abusing its market position and instructed the company to enter into negotiations with the press publishers. An agreement on royalties must be reached within three months.

Google took legal action against this decision. However, this battle was lost after the court of appeal also ruled in favor of the press publishers in October 2020.

Therefore, negotiations had to be started and by now the first results are available. As Google reports, individual contracts "that reflect the principles of respect, universality, and transparency of the law" have already been concluded with some publishers. As Google reports, individual contracts have already been concluded with the first publishers, "that reflect the principles of respect, universality, and transparency of the law". The signatories include Le Monde, Le Figaro, Liberation, L'Express, Courrier International and L'Obs.

"This allows Google to pay publishers for their neighboring rights, in line with the French law, based on objective, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria, such as the publisher’s contribution to political and general information, the daily volume of publications, its monthly internet traffic, and the use of their content on our platforms."

Negotiations are currently underway with other national and regional newspapers and magazines. Google also hopes to conclude a framework agreement with the Alliance de la presse d'information générale.

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