PARIS (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google agrees to pay $ 76 million to a group of French news publishers to end the copyright crisis that has been going on for more than a year, documents seen by Reuters, an agreement where a news publishers lobby is unfair . .
The two documents seen by Reuters and made public for the first time include a framework agreement that requires Google to be prepared to pay a total of US $ 22 million per year to a group of 121 national and local French news broadcasts after signing separate licensing agreements with each. them.
The second document is a settlement agreement under which Google agrees to pay $ 10 million to the same group of publishers in exchange for a commitment to terminate all current and potential future claims related to copyright claims over the duration of the three-year contract.
Google refused to comment. The tech firm and publishers announced that they had reached an agreement last month, but financial terms were not disclosed.
“These incomprehensible agreements do not ensure fair treatment of all news publishers, as the calculation formula has not been made public,” the independent online news publishers Spiil union said earlier this week.
He said he regrets that the profession does not offer a united front in talks with Google. “Google has used our divisions to advance its interests,” he said.
The lobby group L’Alliance de la presse d’information generale (APIG), which signed the agreement with Google, was not immediately ready for comment.
To get a share of the $ 22 million to be shared between publishers, each organization will have to sign an individual license agreement with Google.
Documents range from $ 1.3 million for France’s reference daily newspaper Le Monde, which tops the list, to $ 13,741 for local publisher La Voix de la Haute Marne. The document did not specify how these amounts were calculated.
A source close to the subject said that the leading national daily newspapers Le Monde, Le Figaro and Liberation and their respective groups negotiate about 3 million euros ($ 3.6 million) each year, specifically agreeing to sell subscriptions through Google in November.
Louis Dreyfus, chairman of the Le Monde group, declined to comment. Representatives of Liberation’s boss Denis Olivennes and Le Figaro were not immediately available for comment.
Under the terms of the framework agreement, APIG members also commit to use and feed Google’s upcoming new product, Google News Showcase.
Google News Showcase is both a global tool for news publishers to pay for their online content, and a new service that allows co-publishers to select content and provide limited access to paywalled stories for users.
Reuters, a division of news and information provider Thomson Reuters Corp, made a deal with Google in January to become the first global news provider of Google News Showcase.
The agreement follows the implementation of a new type of copyright rule in France called “neighboring rights” under a recent European Union law. These force Google and other major tech platforms to negotiate with publishers in exchange for using their news content online.
Other French publishers not part of this agreement, such as 100% online news and expert publishers, criticized the agreement for being transparent, unfair, and not complying with the “neighboring rights” law.
($ 1 = 0.8247 Euro)
Interview by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Kenneth Li and Jonathan Weber