French Government Says Google Must Pay French News Agencies For Sending Traffic Their Way

from the local-news-concerns-demand-the-right-to-fuck-themselves dept

European publishers just can't punish themselves enough, apparently. News agencies experiencing downturns related to their inability to take advantage of the miraculous communications platform that is the internet are turning to their governments, demanding something be done about Google and its [checks notes] insistence on sending search traffic their way.

Building off the dubious assertion of "neighbouring rights," the French government is now demanding Google pay French newspapers for the privilege of supplying them with additional readers.

In its latest crackdown on big tech, today the French Competition Authority has ordered Google to negotiate with French news organizations within the next three months to pay to reuse excerpts of news stories. That means Google will have to pay publishers for the headlines and snippets of stories that appear in Google News and even Google searches.

Note that it's an "order to negotiate," rather than the imposition of a tax. This is obviously in hopes of avoiding a repeat of Google's response to the snippet tax imposed in Spain. When the Spanish government declared local news agencies had an "inalienable right" to be paid by Google for snippets and headlines showing up in Google searches, the company shut down its news service in Spain. This resulted in news agencies asking for the thing they had just asked for to be rolled back. Losing Google's referral traffic obviously hurt them more than Google's previous uncompensated "use" of their headlines and content snippets.

Of course, Google still has the nuclear option available, negotiation orders notwithstanding. A negotiation can open with Google offering to shut things down completely if French news agencies aren't happy with the traffic Google's sending them. And it's a lot. The French Competition Authority knows this. And it knows its demands are placing a gun to news agencies' heads, rather than Google's. But it's making these demands anyway.

These practices are made possible by the dominant position that Google is likely to hold in the market of general search services. This position leads Google to bring significant traffic to the websites of publishers and news agencies. Thus, according to the data provided by the complainants relating to 32 press titles, and not disputed by Google, the search engines — and therefore Google for a large part — represent, according to the sites, between 26% and 90% of the redirected traffic to their pages. This traffic is also very important and crucial for publishers and news agencies who cannot afford to lose any share of their digital readership due to their economic difficulties.

This is the Competition Authority stating that it thinks Google shouldn't be able to pull the plug on local news services in response to snippet taxes. This condemnation of Google's actions in Spain comes bundled with some inadvertent transparency about the importance of Google's search engine to news agencies -- the same ones who believe it's Google that owes them money, rather than the other way around.

So, to avoid being nuked, the Competition Authority has laid down ground rules for "negotiations" that it hopes will keep Google from saying au revoir to its French Google News service.

Google must conduct negotiations within 3 months from the request to open negotiations from a press publisher or a news agency.

Neither the indexing, nor the classification, nor the presentation of the protected content taken up by Google on its services should in particular be affected by the negotiations.

Google will have to provide the Autorité with monthly reports on how it is complying with the decision.

But it won't really be a negotiation. The Competition Authority says there's only one acceptable outcome.

This injunction requires that the negotiations effectively result in a proposal for remuneration from Google.

This is dumb and highly unlikely to result in anything that makes French news agencies happy. They may be able to wrestle some money out of the company currently sending them traffic for free, but it's not going to turn their fortunes around. Nor is it likely to result in more traffic being sent their way.

Filed Under: aggregation, copyright directive, eu copyright directive, france, google news, google tax, neighboring rights, traffic
Companies: google


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 2:57am

    'How dare you provide us traffic without giving us money too?!'

    Google must conduct negotiations within 3 months from the request to open negotiations from a press publisher or a news agency.

    Neither the indexing, nor the classification, nor the presentation of the protected content taken up by Google on its services should in particular be affected by the negotiations.

    Google will have to provide the Autorité with monthly reports on how it is complying with the decision.

    This injunction requires that the negotiations effectively result in a proposal for remuneration from Google.

    That's not a 'negotiation', that's an ultimatum/assertion of ownership of Google by the french agency, even if the ones issuing it are too cowardly and dishonest to admit it. 'Snippets and links will be paid for, you are not allowed to not carry snippets or links, and you will submit monthly reports showing how nicely you've been brought to heel if you're stupid enough to fall for this.'

    If Google has anyone intelligent running the show they will pull out the nuclear option from the outset, pulling out of the country(or at least making a public statement that they are willing to) with a message that the government has made it too problematic to continue operating there and letting the publishers burn, because if they allow that farce of a 'negotiation' to be used against them other countries will take note and do the same, forcing Google to start paying out for the 'privilege' of sending platforms traffic in any country that feels like shaking them down. Better to send a crystal clear message that trying to extort money from Google for value that it can add will end disastrously than to humor the thugs making those demands.

    As an aside, 'French Government Says Google Must Pay French New Agencies For Sending Traffic Their Way'? I mean, I get that the current publishers will be burning their own businesses to the ground with this, but it still seems a bit premature to refer to the new agencies the company will be dealing with that replace them.

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    • identicon
      Bobvious, 14 Apr 2020 @ 3:35pm

      Re: 'How dare you provide us traffic without giving us money too

      Once again, the European countries have the power to provide their own search engine. www.geugle.com is now available for purchase. Or they could "negotiate" to buy www.geugle.eu, where apparently "All your datas is belong to us."

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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 3:38am

    Google should refuse negotiations altogether and effectively nuke Google News in France. It’s the only way to know for sure that a lesson will be learned.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 3:45am

      Re:

      Right. Americans have an overwhelming desire to go back to building America, bigger better stronger and smarter than ever. Fuck the French and their snails and ugly hairy women.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 4:36am

      Re:

      Not just Google news, totally delist the news sites, including searches on their name.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 4:51am

      Re:

      I think Google would effectively have to withdraw from France.... I wonder if they have any offices there, and if so how much of an impact closing them would be.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 5:56am

      Re:

      I have often said that the French government was run by a bunch of nutters; Google should just let them go.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 7:00am

        Re: Re:Nutters

        Trying not to be too facetious, would somebody please list the governments NOT run by nutters. I presume this is the shorter list than the list of governments who are run by nutters.

        In all nations, corporations, organizations the positions of those who run things are the most desirable. Thus both sensible people and nutters desire the positions, for different reasons obviously. It is primarily a difference between those who get the position and those who don't is in the unscrupulousness, ruthlessness and guile used to get there. Note I didn't use the word competency. We've all seen this in government. The poster child in corporate life is big pharma. I've seen this in on-line volunteer organizations also.

        Therefore, who gets the job of running things; the people who will stop at nothing to get the position or those who have limits on their bad behavior?

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 7:42am

      Re:

      "Google should refuse negotiations altogether and effectively nuke Google News in France."

      They did it in Spain. Smaller publishers suffered somewhat, but I doubt Google batted an eyelid. Since, as these people always forget, Google don't make money directly from the news service.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 4:50am

        Re: Re:

        "Since, as these people always forget, Google don't make money directly from the news service."

        ...and, as those same people also always forget, Google can withdraw from France completely, resulting only in every frenchman henceforth typing "google.uk" instead of "google.fr" for their search engine needs.

        The french government could double down on it, trying to pursue their "link tax" in the rest of the EU but the logical result would simply be for google to completely remove and block every french news agency's domain from their index as a result. I'm not sure even the EU is demented enough to open the can of worms which would be the result of governments trying to force given commercial entities to maintain a presence in nations those entities do not wish to be.

        In the end it boils down to the french neo-luddite government screaming impotently in outraged hysterics while, as usual, zero fscks are given by the online environment towards the latest Red Flag Act written to hold the obsolete middleman industry above water.

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    • icon
      rangda (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 11:52am

      Re:

      I'm not someone normally to favor any large corporation but this is extortion, and then again, I don't favor governments either.

      If I were on the Google's board my recommendation would be to go totally nuclear, immediately terminate all google services to French ip's, delist all French sites from all of search worldwide, immediately terminate all jobs in France (if any), and tell the French government to go fuck itself.

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    • icon
      Norahc (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 12:18pm

      Re:

      It has been several decades since France had to capitulate to another power. Maybe they're just using Google as a stand in so they can get their surrender fix.

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  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 3:52am

    Cue Google giving them the finger, blocking results from France based news sources and offering french Canadian or machine translated international results instead. It will be worse than the status quo for French journalists and will be a PR nightmare, like most European content blocks. See the GEMA blockade of music content in Germany.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 4:03am

    "French New Agencies"

    Yeah...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 6:52am

      Re: "French New Agencies"

      Once in the headline and twice in the article. Is Tim writing these from his phone or something? Autocorrect is pretty much the only culprit I can imagine for that.

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  • identicon
    Wobbler, 14 Apr 2020 @ 4:08am

    States should force Google to pay proper taxes instead of some farcical "licence fee". Everybody happy.

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    • identicon
      Rocky, 14 Apr 2020 @ 4:16am

      Re:

      Here's a simple question for your simple solution: What is proper taxes?

      Make sure to include how tax-laws in different countries and states contribute to your answer.

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      • identicon
        Wobbler, 14 Apr 2020 @ 4:37am

        Re: Re:

        It's not a simple solution at all and I didn't say it was. But it's not a complete farce like these pathetic handouts to publishers either.

        Plus, it's already being worked on, with both french unilateral legislation and a heavily french EU-wide proposal in the works:

        https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:52018PC0147&from=EN

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 5:19am

          'Oh no, I'm sure THIS attempt is legit and not a cash-grab...'

          Why am I not the least bit surprised that such an attempt is being spearheaded by the same idiotic government that's currently trying to demand Google pay for the traffic it sends...

          Given who is leading the charge there you'll have to excuse me if I don't buy for so much as a second that they are doing that in an effort at 'fairness' or 'getting Google to pay 'proper' taxes', as it's pretty clear that the french government's idea of 'fairness' is not even close to the definition that most would assign the word.

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          • identicon
            Rocky, 14 Apr 2020 @ 6:10am

            Re: 'Oh no, I'm sure THIS attempt is legit and not a cash-grab..

            To be fair, the mentioned proposal on it's face isn't that bad since it aims to tax income from digital services and goods in the country the value is generated. I do foresee that some unintended consequences will show up though - as always when we are talking about tax-laws spanning multiple jurisdictions.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 7:07am

              Re: Re: 'Oh no, I'm sure THIS attempt is legit and not a cash-gr

              To be fair, the mentioned proposal on it's face isn't that bad since it aims to tax income from digital services and goods in the country the value is generated.

              That would seem to depend largely, if not entirely, on who gets to determine what qualifies and to what extent. For example it would not surprise me in the least if the french government(for starters) tried to argue that since Google clearly gets value from using snippets/links in their services they should be paying taxes on that on top of paying for the privilege of having them in the first place.

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              • identicon
                Rocky, 14 Apr 2020 @ 7:45am

                Re: Re: Re: 'Oh no, I'm sure THIS attempt is legit and not a cas

                Entirely possible. We all know how the French sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to conserve their "cultural heritage".

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 7:16am

              Re: Re: 'Oh no, I'm sure THIS attempt is legit and not a cash-gr

              Why should one business be forced to pay money to another business, especially when they are already providing the valuable service of driving custom in their direction? Google is not the reason that newspapers are in trouble, but rather their own failure to adapt to changing circumstances.

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              • identicon
                Rocky, 14 Apr 2020 @ 7:26am

                Re: Re: Re: 'Oh no, I'm sure THIS attempt is legit and not a cas

                I'm not talking about the link-tax here, I'm only referring to the proposal on how to tax digital goods and services.

                There are some overlap though, Google derives revenue indirectly by driving traffic to news-sites that most likely uses google-ads - but the taxing should only be done on the revenue-stream from the ads (and related monetization of metadata).

                Asking for remuneration from someone that drives traffic to your site is just pure greed (and double-dipping) from people who thinks Google is a money-piñata that owe them money.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 7:42am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Oh no, I'm sure THIS attempt is legit and not a

                  Google News doesn't have Google Ads in it. So Google is not making money from these news snippets.

                  Ya, Google drives most of these news site traffic to them. Google should go to the nuke option.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 5:02am

              Re: Re: 'Oh no, I'm sure THIS attempt is legit and not a cash-gr

              "To be fair, the mentioned proposal on it's face isn't that bad since it aims to tax income from digital services and goods in the country the value is generated."

              It already is, though.

              A french person visits a US-hosted blog set up by an american, and the visit means an ad is viewed on that US-hosted blog, generating revenue paid BY an american entity TO another american entity. So far every transaction here means the valid US tax is paid.
              You let me know just where, in the factual run of events, the french government should get to tax a single cent?

              The "mentioned proposal" is nothing other than a shameless attempt to ensure that a nation-state gets to steal money from commercial activities in other countries.

              Grays Law states that any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from actual malice...and that is basically the only reason I assume the EU isn't simply trying to shut down the internet as a whole because if anyone actually tries to implement that fermented midden heap of a proposal that's exactly what will happen.

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        • identicon
          Rocky, 14 Apr 2020 @ 5:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I wouldn't say that the document spell out what the proper taxation should be, it only lays down directives that the member-countries will use to ascertain what income to tax. So "proper tax" is a bit complicated due to each member-state's tax-law and tax-treaties.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 4:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "It's not a simple solution at all and I didn't say it was. But it's not a complete farce like these pathetic handouts to publishers either."

          Actually, it is arguably a worse farce to impose taxation on earnings not earned in the country trying to tax. The french government trying to impose taxes on the ad revenues google gets from a frenchman watching an ad sevred by a US server is as nonsensical as if the french government had tried to tax the US restaurant that frenchman went to eat in on his US vacation.

          The EU attempt to force google to pay taxes for operations which have never acted within the borders of any member state is just a badly veiled cash grab. Nothing else.

          Or are you saying that you, setting up a blog, would have to pay taxes to the countries of every visitor who read it, even if none of those countries were where you live and have your blog hosted?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 6:42am

      Re:

      Another tax huh ... so the poor pay, nothing new here.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 9:30am

        Re: Re:

        SHHH... We all know it's true, but we prefer if you don't say it. Taxes are always passed down to the consumer. When they say "tax google", they really mean tax the guy purchasing google products... but lets not talk about that ok?

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 9:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, it good further than that. Most who use Google products don't give them money directly, it's paid for by advertising. So advertisers pay more then the companies they represent up their prices.

          But, in theory at least, the funds they pay provide for better public services so people are generally better off, at least if the funds are used responsibly.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 10:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "the funds they pay provide for better public services so people are generally better off, at least if the funds are used responsibly."

            ... all this is true if only for the briefest of moments in time. As soon as inflation starts because profits are dropping, you realize you actually did nothing at all. Same as minimum wage. Historically speaking inflation is tied to the minimum wage through "wage push inflation". What's worse is this inflation doesn't know borders. Nobody really thinks of what would happen globally. Those cost increases would bleed over into other countries and for those countries that did not increase their minimum wage, they would simply just pay more for the same products. The only way raising the minimum wage or raising taxes on corporations will work as intended is if you can mandate the companies to take less profits, and provide services at a fixed price. No way our (U.S.) courts will let that happen.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2020 @ 4:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "As soon as inflation starts because profits are dropping"

              Inflation is driven by poor profits?
              Interesting notion, is this supported by the economist community?

              Increasing the minimum wage would have a multitude of direct affects upon the economy, inflation is not one of them. It is the business owner who drives inflation by over reacting to the mandatory wage(s) by increasing their price(s). For example, the Papa Johns guy, John H. Schnatter, stated that the advent of Obama Care would force him to increase the price of a large pizza by five cents. You ever see his mansion? Wow, five whole cents! Poor guy :(

              If employers were to pay a living wage, the government would not have to collect as much taxation for SNAP, food stamps, rent subsidy .... all those things that people need to live but are not being provided because the full time wage does not come close to the cost of living.

              And ... why is it that essential employees are not being provided with the means to access essentials needed to live?

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  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 4:12am

    Requirements

    This injunction requires that the negotiations effectively result in a proposal for remuneration from Google.

    And then Google can start billing the companies for every redirection sent their way. After all, if the service is not allowed to be free, google must start being paid for its services.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 4:20am

    Well,

    "This injunction requires that the negotiations effectively result in a proposal for remuneration from Google."

    This could be read two ways:

    1. proposal for (remuneration from Google).
    2. (proposal for remuneration) from Google.

    It doesn't specify who is the one who has to be paid, Google could table a proposal from remuneration from the News Agencies to Google, rather than otherwise, for providing them free traffic.

    If I was Google I'd put the option 2 or just go nuke, like in Spain.

    Other option is going fully apocalypse and cut out a country from their services, all of them. For a day, if they want to make a statement and fix the situation, or for a long time, if they really want to make a statement.

    And it's not even a threat, a company is completely free to decide if it wants to provide services in a country.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 4:38am

    I have no sympathy. Zero. Any company that doesn't want to show up in Google search results, or have a snippet shown, just has to set a flag. The news agencies want to get paid rather than pay for something which they claim is essential to their survival. (I mean, in the aggregate search results are essential for Google too, so it seems the current price of "free" is about correct once you take the monopoly power out of it.)

    From the linked article:

    Google may have treated in the same way, economic actors with different situations outside of any objective justification, and therefore of having implemented a discriminatory practice.

    Discrimination by treating them the same! I wonder if this makes more sense in the original French.

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    • icon
      Ben (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 6:39am

      Re:

      In fact, they already have the option - it's called robots.txt

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 6:49am

      Re:

      "The news agencies want to get paid rather than pay for something which they claim is essential to their survival."

      They do not want to pay, while demanding others pay.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 7:45am

      Re:

      "Any company that doesn't want to show up in Google search results, or have a snippet shown, just has to set a flag."

      This has to be repeated as often as possible. They have robots.txt which Google always honours. But, these people know they really do get extra traffic from Google, so they don't want to use it. What they want is free money, and a handy scapegoat when their failure to adapt to the modern age causes losses for their shareholders.

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    • identicon
      Pixelation, 14 Apr 2020 @ 9:17am

      Re:

      Google could just set the flag as default in France and require French publishers to remove it... for a fee.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 12:52pm

      Re:

      The entire purpose of Google News is discrimination—based on useful, legal, criteria, like whether it's what the users like to read. Otherwise it would be nothing but a timeline of every story ever published.

      Anyone alleging illegal discrimination has not been making a good case to support that.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 4:51am

    One can only wish Google has the balls to once again tell the rent-seeking incumbents and their government cronies where they can shove their "inalienable right." And then give them the only choice they deseve, to either shut up or get taken off the search index.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 5:10am

    Google as a private corporation can't be told who to do business with so that order is dead letter. Putting a clause that negotiations should not affect news traffic or search indexing is both functionally and legally unenforceable as Google is not a French company or even based in France. They could very well do what they did in Spain and have the same result. After all in doing so they immediately get beyond the reach of the French government's laws.

    Its funny how the government's own argument proves Google provides a indispensable service to the news industry for free. Google could offer them 10% of what the news outlets pays to Google for the traffic and cut them off for added emphasis over their previous action in Spain.

    Homestly Google's stance in this is both rock solid in a legal sense and from a business standpoint. The moment they agree to pay anyone for the privilege of indexing and sending them free traffict EVERYONE will come after them demanding the same.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 6:17am

      Re:

      The moment they agree to pay anyone for the privilege of indexing and sending them free traffict EVERYONE will come after them demanding the same.

      With the MPAa and RIAA leading the charge if that dam bursts.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 6:45am

      Re:

      Google as a private corporation can't be told who to do business with ...

      I would not be too sure about that. For instance, any private corporation that plays music gets told to deal with the collection societies on the strength of music copyright. And copyright is defined by statute.

      Who writes the statutes?
      So...

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      • identicon
        Totally Insane Lunatic, 14 Apr 2020 @ 6:54am

        Re: Re: I'm in charge now

        "Who writes the statutes?"

        “When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s gotta be.”

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 5:14am

        Re: Re:

        "I would not be too sure about that."

        I would.

        Because what we are talking about here is NOT whether google is going to sit, IN france, and try to stonewall a french court.

        We're talking about whether Google, operating from the US, is going to give a single fsck about a french government telling them they have to pay a french entity for the privilege of keeping an address registry.

        When spain tried the exact same Google simply de-listed spanish news agencies, resulting in those same agencies becoming nigh-invisible online as compared to all the non-spanish news agencies. Care to guess who got hurt by this? Certainly wasn't google.

        Governments can't control what services google offer based out of another country. They can only control whether their own citizens are able to access the services in that other country.
        But to do so those governments will have to emulate China and put a censorship wall around their country.

        AT BEST this is a naked - hamfisted - cash grab.
        At worst it's a running lead, along with the EU proposal on "online taxation" towards making a good case as to why national governments all need full control over the communication of their citizenry.

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  • identicon
    Bobvious, 14 Apr 2020 @ 5:18am

    It's all being driven by the biggest player

    Non, non! Ne pas Le Figaro, mais Le Botomy 🧠 , in a full-frontal attack.

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  • icon
    Norahc (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 5:47am

    Google should open the negotiations with an offer of 1 Euro in total, to be divided amongst the publishers however they want. If the publishers refuse, then go the nuclear option. When they come crawling back like the Spanish did, Google should charge the publishers to index their sites.

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  • icon
    BentFranklin (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 6:21am

    If the government insists that Google pay to include snippets and links, then they can also require that the newspapers run Google's ads for free. Or they can require that all French citizens click on those ads.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 7:28am

    RTBF, a country without a past, present, or apparently future

    It appears to me that the French News Agencies are trying to exercise their right to be forgotten, but for the entire country, not just themselves. Google's opening line should be 'nice traffic you've got there, wouldn't want anything to happen to that, so what do you have for us?'.

    The nuclear option would certainly aid in the forgetting of France, and given the 'mandate' in the order described in the article, it seems like Google's best move (we're moving to Belgium, see ya), as the News Agencies won't back down without the promise of some more money in their pockets.

    Then, since it is supposed to be a negotiation, what would be the News Agencies next offer? Given France's history, surrender is a possibility.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 8:15am

      Re: RTBF, a country without a past, present, or apparently futur

      It appears to me that the French News Agencies are trying to exercise their right to be forgotten, but for the entire country, not just themselves.

      So they are trying to vicariously exercise other peoples (their citizen's) right to be forgotten?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 5:17am

      Re: RTBF, a country without a past, present, or apparently futur

      "...it seems like Google's best move (we're moving to Belgium, see ya)..."

      All they need to do is shut down whatever server they have in france. Not as if Google actually needs a physical presence or tax registry in ANY specific nation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 7:51am

    Google’s opening tactic

    In the farce of a negotiation should be, “OK, so how much are you guys going to pays us for the huge amount of traffic we send your way”.

    Or “Nice web traffic you’ve got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 8:05am

      Re: Google’s opening tactic

      Or, "you know we cut Spain off with zero consequences for ourselves, right?"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 9:21am

        Re: Re: Google’s opening tactic

        Do they still Index the news organization in the main index? I wonder how far traffic would fall if an organization was completely purged from Google results.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 11:03am

    endgame is revenue stream

    So if Google benefits by aggregating for Google News, which they do, they have an interest in cooperating. But the terms need to be fair, and it's probably going to be a function of served ads on the partner site's ad traffic, not a flat, per-click rate, which seems to be the intent of the legislation.

    Perhaps the French gov would prefer to build a nationalized portal or aggregator of news - French gov would probably like that even better, but anything they would build is likely to be substandard or inferior to what Google would offer a user.

    The problem is, once again, legislators dictating the solution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 1:19pm

      Re: endgame is revenue stream

      So if Google benefits by aggregating for Google News, which they do, they have an interest in cooperating. But the terms need to be fair, and it's probably going to be a function of served ads on the partner site's ad traffic, not a flat, per-click rate, which seems to be the intent of the legislation.

      Any smart terms would realize that it's a symbiotic relationship, where Google benefits from aggregating, while those they include snippets and links to benefit from the traffic Google sends them, and trying to charge one party for something both benefit from is rather ridiculous.

      Barring smart any fair terms would involve the publishers paying Google much more than Google would be paying them, as previous attempts at this form of extortion has shown that Google can get by quite well even after removing the would-be parasites, whereas the opposite is very much not the case, making clear who's gaining the most, and therefore should be paying the most, from the relationship.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 11:21am

    Still Suggest.

    That those responsible for a majority of the internet, to force and become a New independent nation.
    Even if not acknowledged as such, there are other nations, Not Acknowledged. So its not a small thing.
    Goolge and Amazon can become the NEW Hong Kong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 12:47pm

      Re: Still Suggest.

      Googazon? Aptwitamagoog? Yes! Welcome to The Board's Corporate Oligarchy of Aptwitamagoog!

      Why not? Scientology did it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Atkray (profile), 14 Apr 2020 @ 2:22pm

    It is all in how you read it.

    "This injunction requires that the negotiations effectively result in a proposal for remuneration from Google."

    Google should follow this to the letter.

    They want a proposal for remuneration (to come from Google).

    Very well.

    Dear France,

    Google proposes that if we link to one of your articles and someone clicks the link you pay us per click .000163 Euros.

    That is our proposal.

    Alternatively we can leave things as they are.

    Either works for us.

    Hugs and kisses,

    Google.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2020 @ 5:16pm

    Lets negotiate:

    google: we'll give you $0.00

    french news: How about $500 per article?

    google: $0.00

    french news: how about $1 per article?

    google: $0.00

    french news: how about $0.01 per article?

    google: $0.00

    negotations legally satisified, and come to an end.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 6:33am

      'You need us a lot more than we need you.'

      Alternatively...

      Google: Just to let you know, since the relationship is no longer being treated as a symbiotic one we have decided to charge for the traffic we send your way, as we are clearly providing great benefit to you and will now insist upon being paid for it. Our starting, minimum rate will be twice whatever you demand from us, as I think we both know that you're getting far more out of this than we are.

      Now then, how much did you think would be a reasonable rate for us to pay for including snippets and/or links relating to your content in our services?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    BernardoVerda (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 7:29pm

    What I've yet to see is...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    BernardoVerda (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 7:31pm

    What I've yet to see is...

    ... any legal argument to justify this decision.

    There presumably is one, somewhere.
    (And it's presumably quite tortured and ridiculous).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Zane (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 11:08am

    On the fence

    I'm on the fence on this one. The idea is that Google are making money through advertising revenue, and if it is the case that they are making more revenue than the people producing journalistic content, then there is an issue. It's all fine and well arguing that newspapers need the likes of google, but google wouldn't be successful if people did not produce quality journalistic content in the first place. This might not be the right answer, but it's not completely wrong either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2020 @ 1:44pm

      Re: On the fence

      Robots.txt exists, and is honoured by Google, yet newspaper have not tried using it to show just how valuable they are to Google. They did however make a lot of noise when Google cut them off in Spain, because Google did not think their content was that important to their business.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2020 @ 4:30pm

      Re: On the fence

      "The idea is that Google are making money through advertising revenue, and if it is the case that they are making more revenue than the people producing journalistic content, then there is an issue."

      ... and that issue is, what?

      "google wouldn't be successful if people did not produce quality journalistic content"

      Interesting claim but I do not follow your logic. Given the depth and breadth of the Google empire, how is it that a lack of one particular type of listing would severely affect Google's success?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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