Google tells European publishers: “No more money for you”

13 Feb, 2013



Google seems to draw a line in the sand. After a deal with the Belgian publishers to settle an old law suit about indexing news stories and a French € 60 million innovation fund, it says it has no further plans to sponsor legacy media.

Francisco Pinto Balsemao, head of the European Publishers Council told Reuters last week that he thought Google should pay all the European publishers, instead of just the Belgian and French publishers.

“Search engines get more than 90 percent of revenues from online advertising and a substantial part of these come directly or indirectly from the free access to professional news or entertainment content produced by the media,” he said.

But Google won’t play. A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch:

“While we are always happy to talk to publishers about additional ideas for driving traffic, engagement, and monetization, we are not currently looking to create a fund outside France.”

Google said that the French innovation fund ‘builds on the commitments we made in 2011 to increase our investment in France’. Which is an elegant way of saying… nothing.

Of course, that doesn’t mean this is the end of the issue about who creates value on the internet and who captures it. In Germany, publishers are still pushing for a law that would force search engines and aggregators to pay a licensing fee for using snippets and possibly links to third party content.

[TechCrunch][photo: shooting brooklyn, flickr]

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About the author

Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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