Internet company Google is going to compensate French newspapers for neighbouring rights, and therefore for fragments from newspaper articles that appear in Google’s search results.
The internet giant has reached an agreement with the French publishers. That agreement is seen as a major step forward in a file that has hampered relations between the French press and the American company for several years.
Thanks to a European directive from 2019, newspapers, magazines and news agencies can be compensated for content that the major internet platforms use on their sites. For Google, that means it will have to pay for the snippets that appear in its search engine.
The implementation of the directive sparked a legal battle with the internet giants, and especially Google, challenging the principle.
The agreement announced on Thursday was concluded between Google and the Alliance pour la presse d’information générale (Apig). This Alliance brings together 300 national, regional and local press titles. This agreement replaces an earlier one, dated January 2021. The French competition watchdog declared that first agreement invalid, and Google was fined €500 million for not negotiating “in good faith”.
In a joint press release, Google and Apig called the new agreement “a historic step in the implementation” of neighbouring rights. It “establishes the principles” for compensation from the press “on the basis of transparent and non-discriminatory criteria”. However, neither side wanted to provide further details on the estimated amount of neighbouring rights that will be paid.