Google has signed agreements with more than 300 news publishers across Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, and the Netherlands, the search giant announced. Google also unveiled its new tool, which would enable more European publishers to get paid. This tool offers something known as the Extended News Preview (ENP) agreement, and is accessible via Google Search.
This is the result of the European Copyright Directive, which will soon become national law in several EU countries. Google acknowledges the ambiguity of the new Directive in its blog post. “The law also creates new rights for publishers when longer previews of their content are used online – but without defining what exactly a short extract or a longer preview is.”
“Despite this uncertainty, we announced last year that we will pay news publishers for content which goes beyond links and short extracts, as we are already doing in countries such as Germany,” Google said. The ENP agreement will contain information about “what the offer is for, how to sign up” etc. Meanwhile, the offers will be “based on consistent criteria which respect the law and existing copyright guidance.”
Publishers can change their preferences at any time and will have “full control,” as per Google
Google assures publishers that they will have “full control” over the visibility of their content on Search. Moreover, they can also change their preferences at any given time. The European Copyright Directive states that news aggregators like Google have to pay publishers for the content and snippets used on Search and other sites. Euronews reports that around two-thirds of the companies signed up with Google include popular German publishers such as Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Last year, the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence) slapped Google with a €500 million fine for failing to negotiate with news publishers “in good faith” for using their content. When France began implementing the Directive, Google’s first response was to remove news previews from the country altogether.
But it didn’t take long for the company to soften its stance, as evidenced by the launch of News Showcase. This service offers free access to select paywalled articles. Google said News Showcase currently partners with over 750 publications across Europe. Google has been under the EU regulators’ scanner for a while now. So it can ill afford any further controversies.