In an article published on its blog on May 11, 2022, Google announced that it had reached agreements with more than 300 European national, local and specialized news publications to pay them royalties for the publication of their articles. This comes within the framework of the application of the European directive on copyright. The company has therefore set up a new tool to facilitate the application of these agreements.
The signatory publishers of these agreements are located in Germany, Hungary, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Ireland. They will now be paid for all longer content in links and short excerpts on Google platforms. The article states that many other discussions are underway to extend the agreements to other EU countries.
A new tool for managing compensation
Google is launching the Extended News Previews (ENP) or “detailed news preview” program to allow news publishers to automate and facilitate the creation of compensation offers for their content. Available through Google’s Search Console, this tool will give registered publishers a comprehensive overview of how their publications are managed and the amount of advertising revenue generated on the pages that display their content.
Launched first in Germany and Hungary, it should quickly be extended to other EU countries and allow thousands of press publishers, especially the smallest ones, to join. If Google gives only little information on the concrete operation of the ENP program, the company nevertheless ensures that publishers will keep “ full control over whether or not their content is displayed in Google Search and how that content can be previewed “.
A fight that finally ends
Google’s announcement aligns with the April 2019 European directive on copyright and related rights. Indeed, it enshrines the right of press publishers to be remunerated for the use of their content (article 15 of the directive).
Several agreements in this context have been denounced, particularly in France where the company was sentenced to a record fine of 500 million euros for non-compliance with the law on the remuneration of related rights.
Sulina Connal, Director of News and Publishing Partnerships at Google, authored the blog post that announced the launch of the ENP program. She deplores the lack of precision in the directive on the length of excerpts that Google can use for free. She recalls that “despite this uncertainty, we announced last year(November 2021)that we would compensate news publishers for any content that goes beyond links and short snippets“.
The agreements signed under the ENP will allow Google to publish, under licence, excerpts and thumbnails from the content of the signatory publishers. Publishers will be able to enroll and change their preferences at any time in the program.