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POST TIME: 22 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
French media files copyright case against Google
AFP, Paris

French media
files copyright
case against
Google

French media organisations lodged a complaint against Google to the country's competition authority Wednesday over the US internet giant's refusal to pay for displaying their content. The move sets up a legal fight with Google over a new EU copyright law that could have huge repercussions for the future of the press.

Earlier this year France became the first country to ratify the law, which aims to ensure publishers are compensated when their work is displayed online.

The APIG press alliance, which groups dozens of national and regional newspapers, the union of magazine editors as well as AFP, which has brought a separate complaint, argued that Google is flouting the law.

The new EU rules create so-called neighbouring rights that give a form of copyright protection to media firms when their content is used on websites, search engines and social media platforms.

But Google — which holds a virtual monopoly on internet searches — said articles, pictures and videos will be shown in search results only if media groups consent to let the tech giant use them for free.

If they refuse, only a headline and a bare link to the content will appear, Google said, almost certainly resulting in a loss of visibility and potential ad revenue for the publisher.