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Google to pay for news but not for links

Google has returned to earlier postponed plans to launch its Google News Showcase in Australia paying publishers for contributing their best stories to the service. This comes days after Google in a hearing threatened to stop its search in Australia. Google and Facebook have reacted strongly against a proposed law that would make them pay publishers for using their content online. If they cannot agree with publishers on the price, an independent panel will decide the pricing.

Google has now contacted several publishers about joining the Google News Showcase already in February and get paid for it, Reuters reports.

Google declined to comment but the company´s managing director for Australia, Mel Silva, in a blog said Google opposes paying for showing links to articles, not for publishing news.

“Right now, no website or search engine pays to connect people to other sites through links. This law would change that, making Google pay to provide links for the first time in our history.”

Google News Showcase has already been launched in several countries with more than 400 publishers as partners.

Google recently agreed to pay French publishers for using their content online but no details have been published about the agreement. Google has said it will pay the publishers related to daily volume of publications and monthly internet traffic. The negotiations in France started when the country, as the first one, implemented the European Union´s updated copyright directive in national legislation.

Facebook has joined Google in protesting about the proposed Australian law saying that the company considers to prevent users from sharing news in Australia if the legislation is approved by the parliament.

Facebook has recently started launching its own news service across Europe with UK as the first market. This comes after testing the service in the US where Facebook pays publishers the company wants to have in the service. Other publisher do not get paid but were invited to contribute content anyway with Facebook saying they will benefit from getting more the traffic to their sites.

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