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The New Agreement Between Google and French Publishers: Bad or Good News?

As you may know, in January of 2021 was announced that Google and the French publishers achieved a new agreement with the objective to remunerate the editors for the extracts of their news that Google shows in its platform.

This agreement is the result of the implementation in France of the European Union Directive of 2019, according to which the service provider of Internet has to remunerate the editors of press articles for the reproducing of its works or a portion of those.

With the end of avoid the payment, Google decided to just not publish the content of French source, but there was an injunction measure in a process of antitrust behavior against google that made the platform to sit with the publishers and negotiate the price.The entire story left some questions in the air, what is going to happen in the countries where whatever reason can’t reach the same result? Google is just going to decide not to reproduce the content in order to no make a payment? This rebound directly in the free speech and information rights of the users.

But in the other side, is this best way to assure the balance between owners of copyright and users? What is going to happen to fair use?

We agree that Google in the measure it has dominant position in the market has some burdens that it would not haven’t if there is no the mentioned position, but what is going to happen if in a close future if the editors just is not comfortable with the price, or what is going to happen to the exceptions like current news or short extracts? This implies, at first sight, the annulment of the fair use that in the case of France is translate as exceptions of droit d’ auteur , and the excessive empowerment of the editors to manage the information and in this form, the free speech right of the users.

This make us conclude that the balance between copyright is in the hands of copyright owners and the giant of the technology, and not anymore in the hands of the lawmakers and courts, which is the worse scene that we could imagine in the field of the protection of Intellectual Property in the specific field of Internet.

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Natalia Vera Matiz's picture

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