Google creates €60 million media fund to settle copyright dispute with French news publishers

The plan also eliminates the French 'link tax' proposed last year

Google has created a ¬60 million (US$81 million) fund designed to settle disputes with French publishers over lost revenues, providing an alternative to a proposed "link tax" that would have charged the company for posting French news content in its search results.

France is one of several European countries, along with Germany and Belgium, that has been in conflicts with Google. News publishers there have argued that the company should be paying copyright fees for indexing news content because the search links result in lost advertising revenue and subscribers when readers don't click through to publishers' own websites. The "link tax" -- which would make Google pay to republish news snippets -- was floated late last year as a solution unless Google struck a deal.

Those issues are now resolved, under a two-fold initiative Google announced Friday in an official blog post with French President Francois Hollande.

The first component of the plan is a ¬60 million digital publishing innovation fund aimed at pushing French publishers into the digital age, "to help support transformative digital publishing initiatives for French readers," said Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt in the blog post.

The resolution of the link tax specifically was mediated by the French government on behalf of the publishers, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations.

The second part of the plan is designed to improve Google's partnership with French publishers to increase their online revenues using Google's ad services.

"A healthy news industry is important for Google and our partners, and it is essential to a free society," said Google's Schmidt.

"This exciting announcement builds on the commitments we made in 2011 to increase our investment in France -- including our Cultural Institute in Paris to help preserve amazing cultural treasures such as the Dead Sea Scrolls," he added.

There is not yet a firm timeline on when the innovation fund will go into effect or how it will specifically be implemented, as the company is still working out those details.

The partnership aspect of the plan, however, suggests that Google and French publishers will be sharing certain technologies in an effort to avoid future copyright disputes. In that sense, the initiative is similar to the settlement Google reached with Belgian news publishers in December.

Under that agreement, both parties will promote each others' services while Google pays the legal fees. The Belgian groups sued Google in 2006 for allegedly violating their copyrights.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGoogleinternetsearch engines

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?