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February 3, 2013

Google settles copyright dispute with French media

The search giant will help French publishers to increase their online revenues

By CBR Staff Writer

Google has 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.

The fund, known as Digital Publishing Innovation Fund, which will help in funding digital publishing innovation to media companies in the country to generate revenue from online advertisements as they move from print advertising to the internet.

French president Francois Hollande and Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt have signed the agreement to settle the dispute.

The settlement follows two months of negotiations with French news websites which claimed that they were not getting any of the advertising revenue Google earned by sending their news content to search clients.

Last year, France revealed plans to implement a law that would mandate Google to pay for linking content from the French media, until it agrees to sign a deal with media channels.

Apart from creating the fund, Google said it will expand partnership with French publishers to help increase their online revenues using its advertising technology.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said: "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."

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"These agreements show that through business and technology partnerships we can help stimulate digital innovation for the benefit of consumers, our partners and the wider wed," Schmidt said.

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

Italian and German companies are also demanding that Google should allocate some of the advertising income from user searches for news on their media websites.

During early October 2012, Brazil’s National Association of Newspapers halted use of search engine aggregator Google News and argued that it declined to pay for content and was diverting traffic away from the country’s newspaper websites.

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