Google cannot escape French law obliging it to pay royalties to media outlets for displaying their articles, pictures and videos in search results. French President Emmanuel Macron said this on Friday, 4th October 2019.
Google routinely shows extracts of news articles or small “thumbnail” images in its results and on Google News. And it does this without paying the publishers.
A new EU rule, which France is the first to implement, requires internet companies to pay for such content. However, Google baulked, saying it will not use the content in search results unless publishers make it available for free.
But Macron criticised Google’s operations in France and Germany. He said that “the desire of an operator today is not to pay the newspaper, not to pay the journalists”.
The French president insisted,
“A company, even a very large company, can not get away with it when it decides to operate in France. We are going to start implementing the law,” he said.
The new European legislation comes into force on October 24. The laws seek to ensure media firms receive payment for original content displayed by Google, Facebook and other technology giants which dominate the online advertising market.
The new rules create “neighbouring rights” to ensure a form of copyright protection — and compensation — for media firms when their content is used on websites such as search engines.
However, on 25th September 2019, Google said it had no intention of paying European media outlets.
“It’s up to the publishers to decide how they promote their content,” Richard Gingras, Google’s vice president in charge of news, told journalists in Paris then. He said this after meeting French Culture Minister Franck Riester.
At Google, he added that “we don’t pay for links to be included in search results”. This is because “it would undermine the trust of users”.