French news agency AFP and Google announced an agreement on the remuneration of neighboring rights under French law. The agreement came after many months of negotiations after French competition authority had ordered Google to reach an agreement on paying the country’s publishers for using their journalistic content in services like search.
The negotiations have been based on EU’s new copyright directive that France was the first country to implement in national legislation. A large percentage of Goggle´s income is from advertising shown in connection with search results.
Google originally said the company would only use search results from publishers who did not ask for payment. Publishers who did not agree to such a deal would just be shown very marginally in search results.
Publishers protested and said Google was abusing its dominance of the markets and the French competition authority fined Google and instructed the company to reach an agreement with the publishers. One of the publishers that objected to Google´s initial standpoint was the news agency.
The statement announcing the agreement said that “the wider partnership with AFP will also encompass other projects, including a program dedicated to fact checking, with more details to be shared soon.”
Fabrice Fries, CEO of Agence France-Presse said: “This agreement is a recognition of the value of information. This will contribute to the production of quality information and the development of innovation within the Agency. It illustrates the growing part that platforms are called upon to take in AFP’s activities, already supported by the very rapid development of digital investigation ”
Sébastien Missoffe, Managing Director of Google France says: “This agreement with Agence France-Presse demonstrates our willingness to find common ground with publishers and press agencies in France on the topic of neighbouring rights. This partnership will further support the work of AFP and paves the way for even closer collaboration between our teams in the future. ”