Google buys off publishers
PUBLISHERS in France have been pressing for a law giving them a share of the revenue that search engines make by listing their content. On 1 February Google announced it had settled with them - promising €60 million for a "Digital Publishing Innovation Fund" and to "deepen our partnership with French publishers to help increase their online revenues". The union the Syndicat national des journalistes regrets that the promise by Minister of Culture that journalists would be involved in such talks has not been met, and observes that under a law passed in 2009 journalists must share in any income from re-use of their work.
In Belgium, the search giant has settled with newspaper publishers and the collecting society that represents journalists, following the 2011 (Belgian) Supreme Court decision that Google News Belgium infringed authors' rights. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
No such talks are known in Germany, where publishers are promoting a law to give them a share of online income - see above.