Google announced on Thursday the signing of agreements with several french media to remunerate them for publishing their content, a world first that falls within the framework of European law on related rights.
In a blog post, the US giant reported on several individual agreements with a “certain number” of French newspapers and magazines, such as the big newspapers Le Monde, Le Figaro and Libération.
He specified that he maintains “conversations with other actors in the national and regional daily press, as well as with magazines.”
The related rights were voted in the European Parliament in 2019 in order that the digital platformss remunerate the media for their contents, especially videos and photos, when they appear for example in the results of your search.
France immediately applied the European legislation and therefore the rest of the countries are closely following the evolution of the negotiations in this country.
Google initially refused to pay the French press, but the Competition Authority ordered it to negotiate with the media, a decision validated by the courts on appeal.
In addition to these first individual agreements, Google continues to negotiate with the General Information Press Alliance on a framework agreement, the negotiations of which should be concluded “before the end of the year.”
“This advance allows the press in France to be paid in accordance with the law of related rights, according to objective, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria, such as the contribution of the medium to political and general information, its daily volume of publications, its monthly audience on the internet, as well as the use of content on our sites, “said Sébastien Missoffe, CEO of Google France, in the blog post.
No financial details of the deals were disclosed.
“We have a very active monitoring system, we will verify that the signed contracts explicitly recognize related rights and remunerate them,” warned Isabelle da Silva, president of the Competition Authority, during a media event in Paris.
The agreements also provide that the signatories benefit from the program Google News Showcase, that already exists in other countries and that also proposes to remunerate the media for a selection of content.
This program “will allow readers to access rich content and the media to develop an even closer relationship with their readers, while benefiting from additional remuneration conditions for their content,” explains Google.
The platform claimed to have invested “almost 85 million euros” (100 million dollars) since 2013 in the press in France through its different programs.
For their part, the press agencies indicated through their Federation that they will not “allow themselves to be plundered”, lamenting that “some media are willing to close agreements with Google on rights they do not have, that is, the related rights of press agencies” .
The president of the Agence France-Presse, Fabrice Fries, was “optimistic” about relations with the GAFA: “In recent months we have noticed a change in the attitude of the platforms,” he said at the same event.
Fries added that he expects the agency to double its revenue from the platforms in one year (today 10 million euros, 11.8 million dollars).
Beyond France and the EU, the question of how platforms pay for press content arises around the world. Australia, for example, wants to force Google and Facebook to pay their local media.
“We are in a historic time, with the renegotiation of the compensation terms related to the use of our content,” said David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance, the professional association of the American press during the same media event in Paris, foreseeing that the “new administration of Biden will be more combative in these areas” than that of Donald Trump.