Published On: Mon, Oct 22nd, 2012

Google will ban French newspapers from search engine if country tries to charge users

Google has threatened to ban French newspapers from its search engine if the country passes a law to make search engines pay for the right to use news articles online.

photo by Scott A. Thornbloom

The new law, dubbed the ‘Google law,’ has been spearheaded by French newspapers, and mirrors a similar law under consideration in Germany.

The owners of many French newspapers are in favor of the tax, believing their revenue and copyrights are compromised when Google’s search results display their content.

Fleur Pellerin told France’s Le Figaro newspaper that the government is studying the idea and that “Europe will be stronger if it can move ahead unified on that idea.”

French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti also recently told a parliamentary commission it is “a tool that it seems important to me to develop.”

However, Google says that such a law would “threaten its very existence,” according to a letter it sent to several French officials and published online today.

“There has been some interest around an extract from a note we have prepared about a proposal by French news publishers associations to require search engines to license all of the content that they help users to find across the web,” said Olivier Esper, Google’s Director of Public Policy in France.

‘The web has led to an explosion of content creation, by both professional and citizen journalists. 

“So it’s not a secret that we think a law like the one proposed in France and Germany would be very damaging to the internet. We have said so publicly for three years.”


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- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.


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