Google’s appeal against a French competition watchdog’s order requiring it to negotiate with publishers to pay for footage of its content has failed. As we reported in April, the French authorities established the press “adjacent right” under the EU copyright law, which was incorporated into national law after last year’s pan-EU copyright reform. A paper ban in a Paris court has left the tech giant with little legal leeway to pay for access to the content of French news publishers.
French competition authorities have ruled that Google cannot unilaterally withdraw news footage from its news aggregators (and elsewhere on its search service) in an attempt to evade payments.
Asked to comment on the Court of Appeal’s decision, a Google spokesman said: “As we announced yesterday, our priority remains to reach an agreement with French publishers and news organizations. We appealed in order to obtain legal clarification of certain parts of the order, and we will now review the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal. “
Google said it appealed the interim ruling because it was concerned about some aspects of the order, some of which were contradictory and confusing. Google will continue to have significant concerns about how the country interprets the rights of publishers, although it reiterates that the legal process is separate from the ongoing negotiations with French publishers and will continue to follow the negotiation process.
Google is preparing to reach a deal with French publishers, according to a Reuters report yesterday.
Earlier this month, the tech giant announced a $1 billion licensing fee fund, known as the Google News Display Fund, that will be used to pay news publishers to help it “create and curate high-quality content” with the goal of presenting a new licensed content segment on Google News, a program that will begin in Germany and Brazil and expand into other markets.