Google has lost an important case in France, obligating Google to compensate French news publishers for using their content.
Google was accused by the French Competition Authority of not complying with French laws that order digital organizations to negotiate a fair price for use of content.
According to the ruling, it seems that Google’s activities harmed French news organizations who were forced to comply with Google’s terms of allowing free use of their content in the Google News feed.
Also, the ruling said that, instead of complying with a 2019 requirement that Google negotiates a fair a payment system with news organizations, Google can simply withdraw from showing French news.
According to a translated version of the decision:
“Google unilaterally decided that it would no longer display article extracts, photographs and videos within its various services, unless the publishers give it to them. free of charge.
In practice, the vast majority of press publishers have granted Google free licenses for the use and display of their protected content, without negotiation and without receiving any remuneration from Google.”
In a French Media report, Google has three months to negotiate in good faith with news publishers to pay for the right to use titles, images and snippets.
Not only that, Google is required to submit a report in four weeks to detail how it is coming along and follow up reports each month after that.
According to the French news report, this was Google’s response:
“We are in discussions with a large number of press publishers in order to increase our support and investments for the benefit of the press sector. We will comply with the decision of the Competition Authority, which we are in the process of analyze, while continuing these negotiations, “said Richard Gingras, vice president of news at Google at AFP.”
This loss is huge for Google since it seems to be creating a precedent for Google having to pay news publishers for the right to use snippets, titles and images. Google has always said that it’s doing good for publishers by sending traffic to news organizations, although France’s competition regulator believed otherwise. They found that Google’s actions have caused harm to publishers.
How will this affect Google moving forward? We will have to wait and see.