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Google has announced a big plan to pay for the newspapers

Loading player Google announced Wednesday that it has struck a deal with over 300 European newspapers and news sites to pay them in exchange for the ability to put a small portion of their articles on its search engine. It is not the first time that Google has announced economic compensation in favor of publishers, but it is one of the first times that it has launched a large program at European level in compliance with the copyright directive, a law approved in 2019 by the European Parliament which provides for the obligation for digital platforms to pay newspaper publishers, in some specific cases.

The announcement concerns some countries (Germany, Hungary, France, Austria and the Netherlands) that have already transposed the copyright directive into their national legislation and with whose publishers negotiations have been going on for some time. However, Google has made it known that further agreements will soon arrive in other countries (Italy implemented the directive at the end of last year). Of the more than 300 newspapers involved, about 220 are German, many of which are important and famous, such as the Spiegel magazine, the Zeit newspaper and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

Over the past few years, Google has made various financial deals with publishers around the world, who have long been asking to be paid to grant the use of their content on the search engine. In particular, one of the most debated issues concerned the snippets, that is the short extracts that Google publishes among the search results to give the user an idea of ​​what the article is about, and for which the newspapers have asked to receive. a fee.

The controversy between Google (but also other platforms in general, such as Facebook) and publishers has been going on for years, and in Europe culminated in 2019 with the approval of the European Copyright Directive, a very broad and much discussed law that provides among other things that publishers have the right to ask platforms for the publication of snippets (even if the definition of snippets is not always very clear).

In response to the controversy over payments, Google has taken various initiatives to pay publishers in recent years. The most important is Google News Showcase, a platform presented in 2020 in which articles chosen by editorial offices considered reliable and prestigious are shown, upon payment by Google. Showcase has involved over 750 newspapers across Europe.

A newsletter on the damned future of newspapers Whether they are on paper or online, we understand better what they tell us if we know how they are changing, every week. To receive it, write your email address here and press the button below. Having read the information, I agree to send the NewsletterThe project announced Wednesday, however, is the first developed to respond directly to the copyright directive.

It is not the first time that Google has found agreements with individual publishers to comply with the directive (it had already done so, for example, always in Germany), but it is the first large project at European level, which involves the involvement of hundreds of newspapers in various countries. and that it will expand further. Google did not disclose how much the publications will be paid, nor by what criteria. A Google spokesperson said: “Following the many years that Google has provided support to journalism, we are making proposals to journalistic publishers in Germany and many other EU countries, in compliance with the new copyright law.” This new project will not replace Showcase, which will remain active.

In Germany and Hungary (and soon other countries as well), Google has also opened a system where newspapers can register to receive a payout offer from the company. The new system, according to Google, should soon include “thousands” of news companies.