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Danish media unite to make US tech giants pay

Danish media unite to make US tech giants pay for news

Denmark’s media companies have joined forces to collectively negotiate with US tech giants, like Google and Facebook, over payments for online use of their content.

Almost 30 Danish media companies – including state broadcaster DR, TV2, Berlingske, JP/Politikens Hus, and Zetland – will meet on Friday for their first general assembly as a collective bargaining organisation, in a move they hope can provide inspiration for other countries.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Anders Krab-Johansen, chief executive of newspaper group Berlingske Media and head of an informal network behind the alliance, said the cooperation meant tech giants would not be able to “divide and conquer us as usual”. 

“What you see in most countries is that Google or Facebook negotiate particular deals with one or a few dominant media companies and they set the standard and the market has to follow. We would rather have a collective bargaining power, which gives us some size,” he added.

The FT notes that the Danish initiative, based on the EU copyright directive which gives news publishers the right to claim revenues for online use of their material, is the first in Europe to form a broad-based collective to pursue claims with tech companies.

In 2019, an EU directive gave media the right to be compensated for links to their content by tech giants in order to ensure better compensation for creators of news content. However, until now the funding is negotiated with publishers on a one-to-one basis.


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