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Google to Pay French Publishers for News

After a court ruling, Google has agreed a deal with an association of French media publishers that will pave the way for the internet giant to make copyright payments for re-use of news content online. That's very good news for French publications, some of which have seen revenues drop dramatically.

Google has long sought to deny French publishers payment for previews of news in its search tools. Last year, it stopped showing news results from European publishers on search results for French users in order to comply with the new copyright law.

It had argued that publishers benefit from the millions of readers it sends to their websites. But in April, an appeals court ordered the company to open talks with publishers to discuss remuneration for news agencies if they shared content, photos, or videos online in Google Search results or on Google News. Google later failed in its appeal against the decision in October, reports The Telegraph.

The new accord signed with the Alliance de la presse d'information générale (APIG) involves 'neighbouring rights', which call for payment for showing news content within internet searches, a joint statement said.

The agreement provides a framework for Google to negotiate individual licence agreements with newspapers on the payments. It will also give papers access to its new News Showcase programme, which sees it pay publishers for a selection of enriched content.

Payments are to be calculated individually and will be based on criteria including internet viewing figures and the amount of information published. The deal covers papers that carry "political and general news", the statement said.

In good news for UK media on the other side of the Channel, Facebook has already agreed to pay mainstream news outlets millions of pounds a year to license their articles. Most British newspaper groups have signed up to the programme, under which their articles will appear in a dedicated news section on the site that is due to launch this month. The direct cash injection will please a news industry that has largely lost out to Facebook in the battle for the UK advertising market.


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