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France: Media groups to take Google copyright fight to competition watchdog

 |  October 24, 2019

French media firms said Thursday that they would drag Google before the country’s competition regulator over its refusal to pay for displaying their content in the search results, setting up a legal fight over a new EU copyright law.

The APIG press alliance, which groups dozens of national and regional newspapers, said it would also press the French government to take action against the US internet giant.

“We are outraged,” said Jean-Michel Baylet, APIG president and chief executive of Depeche du Midi newspaper in southern France.

“Nobody can flout the law, but that’s what Google is doing,” he said. “The future of the French and European press is at stake.”

International news agency Agence France-Presse, which is not a member of the alliance, said it was preparing a separate complaint.

France in July became the first country to ratify an EU copyright law which was passed this year and came into force Thursday to ensure publishers are compensated when their work is displayed online.

The new rules create so-called neighbouring rights to ensure a form of copyright protection for media firms when their content is used on websites such as search engines or social media platforms.

But Google says articles, pictures and videos will be shown in the search results only if media firms consent to let the tech giant use them for free.

If they refuse, only a headline and a bare link to the content will appear, Google said, almost certainly resulting in a loss of visibility and potential ad revenue for the publisher.

Full Content: Yahoo

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