EU Might Force Google to Pay for News Content - The UpStream

EU Might Force Google to Pay for News Content

posted Sunday Sep 18, 2016 by Scott Ertz

EU Might Force Google to Pay for News Content

Google and Europe do not have the best relationship most of the time. The EU has fought to breakup the company, as well as creating a special tax, or more accurately collection of taxes, aimed directly at them. Those taxes have created some problems within Europe already, with Google shutting down Google News in Spain.

The move that Spain made that pushed Google's hand was to charge Google for use of any content reproduced within Google News. The immediate response was a full service shutdown. Germany made a similar move, making Google pay 11 percent of revenue generated by content to the original authors. To this day, Germany's law has not generated any revenue for content producers because Google News does not generate any revenue.

Following in Spain's massive success, the EU is currently considering enacting the same ruling throughout Europe, with an added detail: it would affect all syndicated content. That means that if Google shows any snippet of content, they would be required to pay the content creator for the use of that content. Most, including Google, would argue fair use, though Spain and the EU disagree. They are not the first to disagree, either. IN 2011, Rupert Murdoch said,

There's a doctrine called fair use, which we believe to be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether, but we'll take that slowly. The people who simply just pick up everything and run with it - steal our stories, we say they steal our stories - they just take them.

There is no telling if the EU will actually pass this regulation. If they do, it is even harder to guess what Google's response will be. In China, Google was willing to be censored completely rather than do it themselves, denying a government demand. Clearly this would not be the first time Google has shut down or ignored a government rule in the interest of an open and accurate internet, so it is likely that Google will fight with everything they have.


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