A court in Paris has upheld an order for Google to deal with media groups in a long-running dispute over revenue from online news. The verdict came even as the Internet titan declared that it was close to a deal on reimbursing French media groups for news shown in its search results.
Till date, Google has refused to observe new European Union (EU) rules that afford greater copyright protection to media companies for news shown on search engines and social media. France is the first European country to endorse the rules that can serve as a lifeline for newspaper groups coping with contracting print sales.
In April this year, the French competition authority directed Google to deal with the Press in good faith however Google appealed the order alleging that the authority was stepping beyond its orbit of influence. The Paris court ruling is in favor of the French competition authority. Google has argued against paying for news items as these benefit the news companies in the form of millions of visits to their websites. In the wake of recent developments however, Google announced late Wednesday that it had made the French press an offer on copyright.
"We want to support journalism and ensure continued access to quality content for as many people possible," Google France Director Sebastien Missoffe reportedly said in a joint statement with the French newspapers.
Meanwhile, not only France but even the Australian government has drafted a new law to make Facebook and Google pay for news content they use.