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Google signs copyright agreements with six French newspapers (reuters.com)
37 points by giuliomagnifico 12 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 32 comments





This feels fair to me. The news agencies spend time and money to research, verify and publish the news. If Google wants to use that content to sell ads, then they should pay for it.

I don't understand the negative comments here, and I'm not seeing an explanation for the disappointment. Maybe I've missed part of the story here?


Because the French courts will not allow for Google to choose the "we won't use the content" option, let alone "we'll use the content but not sell ads for it". They must show the news content whether they want to or not. That's a tough system to make work.

This does seem problematic. I guess we're in that state where we go from one end of the spectrum to the other.

It doesn’t even seem like Google’s approach was one end of the spectrum - it was a very workable and equitable arrangement. Google provided links to the news websites and a title+first sentence blurb, and then presented their own ads on the aggregation page.

They didn’t steal or reprint the full text of the article, they didn’t crawl the site and use a GAN to summarize it (and remember - this is half of what modern journalists do anyways) - they provided a useful service that drove traffic and clicks to these ingrates.

But they wanted more and petitioned the courts to give it to them. This doesn’t seem like much of anything other than gatekeeping the established news media.


Is not fairly well established that tech and social media have already upended the news industry in terms of revenue streams? Revenue streams which arguably flow through tech now? I have a hard time with that being true and also telling them that they're gate keeping.

Google can treat other news agencies as preferred suppliers by giving them a higher ranking in the graph. France should have done this with a European initiative because they are to small to do this.

iirc punishing the French news agencies by messing with their rankings like that also incurs penalties for Google.

I'll have a stab, 2 things:

First, Google is now the largest customer of these papers. That makes it very hard for them to be critical of Google or its allies and very easy for them to be critical of Google competitiors or detractors. This is at exactly the time when there is a public debate over big tech.

Second, Google isn't paying these papers for news, it's paying them for content/clicks. The core issue with the pay per click model is that it incentivises BS, baseless pieces and it punishes actual investigaive journalism. Everything becomes a "buzzfeed top ten things you already agree with" article. That is a massive problem already, and this change reinforces it and makes it worse. I'd actually like to see this sort of thing banned, not extended.


Do the newspapers have to pay to quote their sources?

So why should Google have to pay to quote a newspaper?

The inherent nature of news is that you're always re-selling someone else's story.


1) Sometimes yes, especially to be able to pull down large banks of data and sort through it. [1]

2) Besides "Google can afford it", Google is making money off of the snippets they're displaying along side ads in searches. Given a lot of people read the first two lines and move on, the effort of writing those two lines is not awarded money to the writer before this deal, only to Google.

3) The best thing news can be is the fourth estate that prevents disinformation and provides a means for honest discourse. They've gotten chopped up from disruptive business models. We need to reverse that if we like having nice things like democracy and facts.

[1] There are practical reasons not to pay for information, mainly to prevent "witnesses" from making up stories that will be interesting and bring fame. A huge amount of journalism is sorting through claims, which is a major investment of money and time. Coincidentally... that's something not happening in Google results a ton, with terrible results (pun intended).


Explanation: I believe copyright law is harmful to human creativity and should be repealed.

Hasn't the 20th century explosion of books, music, movies, etc, coincided with copyright law?

It coincided also with several other things such as mass access do information, literacy increase. What you mention is definitely a spurious correlation such as money spent on pets vs death by stairs.

Not to mention the massive increase in population. It went from 1.6 billion in 1900 to 6.1 billion in 2000.

Most people (read “devs”) don’t understand the problem.

Google benefits financially even if they don’t place ads next to the content.

Amazon saw the benefit of this when they added “free” content to Prime and Netflix also sees the value though they don’t sell ads.

Great content largely attracts and retains users. Once you have those users, you have their data and can sell other things to them or...

...prevent those users from using and establishing brand loyalty to a competitors products.

Nike for the last 30 years has actively bought up the rights to promising yet mediocre athletes just to avoid them going to Adidas and potentially becoming stars.


So do you think a news outlet quoting a person in an article should have to pay to contain the quote?

Do Google News have ads?

I don't see any, but personally every Google news query starts with a regular Google search that would show ads. I would guess that's common, as Google will highlight news results if you search a newsworthy term.

Isn't Le Monde probably the most popular news paper in France? How can Google claim they benefit from the traffic? Of course, the website will probably be promoted the most by its algorithm. But for example, if I want to read the new york times, I just type in nytimes.com and it opens up for me. For many people who similarly want to read the articles of Le Monde, they can completely circumvent Google and just straight go to the site and I'm confident they won't lose a lot of traffic.

This is sad. Google capitulating to this law will now give leeway for further ridiculous highway robbery, since other jurisdictions see they won't fight it.

Way to throw us all under the bus, Google. Should have packed your bags and region-blocked France.


American copyright is one way, I guess. You can copyright Mickey Mouse for 3 million years, but copyright laws should never benefit French or Australian newspapers! Google should just block France and Australia, like they block people doing wrongthink on Youtube, this will teach them not to mess with the advertising mega-corporation. Who do they think they are?

You know it's possible to think that copyright should have a smaller duration and that copying a headline and first sentence should be fair use, right?

we can call it FOSSRSS

Apparently the five publishers (Le Monde - including its magazine Courrier International -, Le Figaro, Libération, L’Obs, L’Express) had to accept that Google could distribute their content through Subscribe with Google in exchange of this agreement regarding neighbouring rights and Google News Showcase (whatever that is).

https://www.lefigaro.fr/medias/droits-voisins-accord-en-vue-... (in French)


> apply revamped EU copyright rules, which allow publishers to demand a fee from online platforms showing extracts of their news.

Absolutely terrifying.


often google doesnt only show an extract, it shows the most important part of the text so sometimes you don't even need to click away

Lmao who is this "terrifying" for? Google stock holders?

Or maybe ANY other company that ever wants to use snippets online.

This is a classic tactic - pick a fight with the baddest dude in the room and take him down, then nobody else will challenge you.

Google was the baddest dude in town, and now nobody will challenge this law.

Which, rather ironically, means that Google will have FEWER challengers in the future.

So, yeah, “terrifying” is a perfect word for the OP to use here.


Ahah yes « We want to use content created by others but not pay for it, we offer visibility but it’s not our problem how they monetize it »

You like this because it harms Google. I get it.

But the principle and it's implications you have considered deeply and have no issue with them?


Ought government bodies be allowed to audit code to make sure there's no tampering of rankings ?

This is like negotiating with terrorists.



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