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 renamed for all longer content from links and short snippets featured on Google’s platforms. The article specifies 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 via Google’s Search Console, this tool allows publishers to register an exhaustive overview of the management of their publications 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 little information on the concrete operation of the ENP program, the company 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 neighboring 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 of the directive on the length of the 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 could enroll and change their preferences at any time in the program.