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European publishers have celebrated a pair of major victories this week in their years-long battle to get Google and other news aggregators to pay for using snippets of of their news.
On Wednesday, Google parent company Alphabet announced it was reopening Google News in Spain, eight years after it shut down the service because of a Spanish rule forcing Google to pay for links and snippets citing stories from Spanish newspapers and other outlets.
Earlier this week in France, Google agreed to a new slate of licensing deals with publishers across the country that will see the Silicon Valley giant remunerate press agencies and publishers for the use of their protected content on its Google Search, Google News and Discover services. Google has also quietly dropped its attempt to appeal a ruling by France’s competition authority last July, which fined the company $527 million (€500 million) for abusive negotiation practices” in its attempts to secure copyright use deals with French publishers.
Google News shut down in Spain in 2014 after the government required all online aggregators to pay publishers for news snippets. Last year, Spain introduced new legislation that allows media outlets to negotiate directly with the tech giant, rules that bring the country more in line with regulations in the rest of the European Union.
Europe isn’t the only place where governments are forcing tech giants to change their approach to news. Australia passed a law earlier this year that requires Google and Facebook to pay publishers for featured content, and Canada has introduced similar legislation.
Last month, the UK government laid out plans for a similar Silicon Valley crackdown under its new media regulatory body the Digital Markets Unit that would force online aggregators to pay news providers for their online content and impose hefty fines —up to 10 percent of the platforms’ global revenue —if they fail to do so.
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