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EU: Search Engines may need to pay fees for news content

 |  August 25, 2016

News publishers would have stronger rights to demand payment from digital giants such as Google and Facebook in exchange for using their content, under proposed European rules that are designed to shore up the collapsing revenues of traditional media companies.

The measures are part of a series of reforms that the European commission plans to put out to consultation in September. They are designed to strengthen the rights of those who create and invest in original content, from authors and musicians to record labels, broadcasters and publishers.

The commission has come under increasing pressure from publishers to level the playing field. Google and Facebook have attracted a ballooning share of online advertising money, while revenues for news publishers have slumped despite their expanding online readerships.

In draft proposals setting out its preferred options, the commission says: “The sustainability of publishing industries in the EU may be at stake, with the risk of further negative consequences on media pluralism, democratic debate and quality of information.”

The digital groups have a “strong bargaining position”, which “makes it difficult for publishers to negotiate with them on an equal footing”, according to a version of the draft seen by the Guardian.

Brussels is looking at giving news publishers the exclusive right to make their content available to the public, and to reproduce it for digital purposes.

Full Content: Financial Times

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