Publishers: Google should pay rest of Europe for content

8 Feb 2013
Google

French pay-off over online content use prompts call for payments extension

Google should extend its offer to compensate French publishers for use of their content to all media companies across Europe, according to the head of the European Publishers Council (EPC).

Last week, Google agreed to pay €60 million into a special fund to help French media develop their presence on the web. It will not pay them directly for posting links to their content.

French publishers had demanded licensing fees for headlines and snippets of articles in its search engine results.

This use is carried out without the authorisation from copyright holders or without any payment in return

Google settled a similar case with Belgian publishers in December agreeing to help them boost online revenue, but still faces a dispute with publishers in Germany.

"Search engines get more than 90% of revenues from online advertising and a substantial part of these come directly or indirectly from the free access to professional news or entertainment content produced by the media," the EPC's Francisco Pinto Balsemao said.

"The situation is very bad for media groups (in Europe). This use is carried out without the authorisation from copyright holders or without any payment in return. So, all aggregators, like Google, should pay.

"Google's openness to negotiate and talk looks like a good step that must now be followed in other (European) countries."

The EPC represents 26 of the main media groups operating in Europe, including Thomson Reuters, Prisa, News International, Axel Springer and Impresa.

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