Google has come under speculation from the French government after announcing it will not pay European publishers the right to show content on its Google News service to comply with the EU’s new copyright directive, the Financial Times reported.
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In its first major policy change since the passing of the EU’s controversial copyright rules in March, Google said it would not strike licensing deals with European publishers operating in France, the first EU member state to implement the new rules.
Instead Google said it would only display headlines to news stories on Google News.
The EU’s copyright directive is designed to help redress the balance between publishers and the internet giants they are reliant on to drive traffic to their sites.
It was approved after more than three years of fraught negotiations and will come into force in France next month.
Under Article 11 of the directive, publishers have the power to charge for the display of copyrighted news content, known as “snippets”, displayed for free on search engines.
Google had previously warned that the EU’s copyright directive could force it to pull its news service from Europe altogether.
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