Google will pay more than 300 European news outlets to publish content

Google, owned by Alphabet, has signed deals with more than 300 European Union news publications, and many more discussions are underway, the company said Wednesday.

Publishers in Germany, including ZEIT, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Spiegel, as well as others in Hungary, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Ireland have signed the deal with the search engine, Google said in a blog post on Wednesday. The post did not reveal how much Google would pay for the offers.

The European Copyright Directive, which came into effect in 2019, was the culmination of an effort by the European Union to ensure that publishers within the bloc are compensated for their content. The copyright law, which is rolled out in the region by each country, allows publishers to demand payment each time online platforms use their content. The new rules allowed media outlets to negotiate with web platforms such as Google and Facebook over the reproduction of their content.

In 2021, Google reached an agreement with German publishers to create a publisher payment criterion with an exemption for hosting small story snippets, which can be used for free. Google is now expanding the deployment of these agreements through a web-based tool, to facilitate future agreements with publishers.

Google has launched a new tool to provide offers to thousands of other news publishers, starting with Germany and Hungary and rolling it out to other EU countries over the coming months.

The directive allows search engines like Google to freely link to and use “very short extracts” of news publishers’ content. The law also creates new rights for publishers when longer previews of their content are used online – but without defining exactly what a short snippet or longer preview is.

Despite this uncertainty, Google announced last year that it would pay news publishers for content that goes beyond links and short snippets, as it already does in countries like Germany.

Through this new tool, which will be available through Search Console, publishers will be offered an Extended News Preview (ENP) deal with Google for this content. This will include information on what the offer is about, how to register and how to provide feedback.

All offers are based on consistent criteria that comply with existing copyright law and guidelines, including how often a news website is viewed and the amount of advertising revenue generated on the pages which also display previews of news content.

As always, publishers retain full control over whether or not their content appears on Google Search and how that content can be previewed. Publishers can change their preferences and enroll in the ENP program at any time.

Along with the negotiations, Google said it will continue to invest in products and programs to provide even more support for journalism in Europe and around the world.

He recently announced the Innovation Challenge for Europe and the Google News Initiative Subscriptions Academy, which offers publishers an intensive 8-month program focused on digital growth.

(With contributions from Bloomberg)

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