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February 8, 2013

Google must extend payment offer for use of content across Europe

Last week Google made a €60m settlement with French media organisations.

By CBR Staff Writer

European Publishers Council has demanded that Google pay European media companies, similiar to a deal it struck with French publishers to use their content.

Last week, Google agreed to create a €60m fund to help French media organisations adapt to the digital age, settling its long running copyright dispute with the country’s newspaper and magazine publishers.

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

European Publishers Council chairman, Francisco Pinto Balsemao told Reuters: "Search engines get more than 90 percent 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 situation is very bad for media groups. This use is carried out without the authorization from copyright holders or without any payment in return. So, all aggregators, like Google, should pay," Balsemao said.

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

In 2012, Google reached a similar settlement with Belgian publishers and is currently in negotiations to reach a compromise with German publishers.

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Earlier this month Google submitted a settlement proposal to the EU Competition Commission (CC) in a bid to end the two-year long investigation into claims that Google has been misusing its dominant position in online search against its rivals.

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