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Google Fined 500 Million Euros For Violating Copyright Law

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500 million euros is the amount of fine Google now has to pay in France for several violations of ancillary copyright law. The group is in the middle of negotiations with publishers and has so far failed to negotiate a remuneration.

Google just doesn’t negotiate publisher compensation

The penalty now imposed by the French competition authority ARCEP is preceded by months of warnings and, most recently, threats in the form of several injunctions. According to the details, Google had already been instructed in April 2020 to come to an agreement on appropriate payment for content used by French press publishers. Google had promised that it would see its role as a supporter of the French news business in France and would invest generously here.

Earlier: Google has been fined $21.2 million by Indian authorities over biased search

However, these full-bodied commitments by the group do not seem to stand up to the actual review. Google is currently relocating in its negotiations to persuade rights holders to use small snippets of content free of charge – the group in Germany thinks very similarly. As far as possible negotiations are concerned, Google always starts them under unfair conditions such as mandatory participation in the company’s services, according to the competition watchdog. Exactly this view was then confirmed by an appeals court in Paris: Google not only has to negotiate about usage but also about remuneration.

Google Face Tighter Rules

“If the authority imposes orders on companies, they are obliged to implement them conscientiously and to respect their content and intentions. In this case, unfortunately, this was not the case,” said the chairwoman of the ARCEP, Isabelle de Silva. The fine of 500 million euros reflects the “extraordinary severity of the violations found”.

In addition to this penalty, Google will also be tied into a tighter corset of rules for the coming period. The company must submit a remuneration offer to publishers and press agencies that have contacted the authority for the current use of their protected content. For this, Google must also provide information that enables the offer to be evaluated. The company now has two months to do this. Any further delay could result in fines of up to 900,000 euros per day.