Moscow, 22 Jan — “News. Economy” the European Union is finalizing the new controversial copyright law which will allow publishers to demand money from Google, Facebook Inc. and other web-based platforms in cases where even small pieces of articles appear in the search results, news or published by users.
According to Jennifer Bernal, public policy Manager for Google in Europe, middle East and Africa, this prospect has forced Google to consider the possibility of withdrawal of service of Google News from the continent in response to the new law. According to her, the Internet giant has a variety of options, and the company will analyze the final text before taking any decision, adding that Google is reluctant to refuse the service stops in Europe.
The EU had planned to finalize the points of the law in the beginning of this week, but has been delayed due to disagreements between member States regarding some items in the package. Many of them oppose the so-called article 13 governing liability of Internet companies for user content. Delay further tightens the legislative process, which began when the European Commission first proposed a draft law in 2016.
The law, if it is approved, could come into force in 2021. In Google say that it “will break” the Internet: to display in the search snippets of the materials of periodicals, need to buy rights to use them, as the law will give the media the right to license them. The company warns that in case of adoption of the law on the website of the search will be displayed just empty blocks.
Google declares that it does not earns money on its news service, so a waiver is unlikely to lead to financial impact for the company. But searching for news helps to ensure that mobile users back to Google, where they often enter other queries that generate revenue from advertising. Google also competes with services aggregation mobile news from Apple and Facebook.
According to the EU official, lawmakers still have not decided how to define in law the short extracts from texts of news and whether or not separate words be subject to the new rules. In addition, the new copyright rules will also require Google and Facebook actively prevent the emergence of music videos and other copyrighted content on their platforms, if the copyright holders do not grant them a license.
Despite the delay, the EU could still decide on interpretations of the law in the coming months, Bloomberg reports, citing two officials of the EU. But if they do this in the spring, when the European Parliament elections, the process will be delayed until the end of this year.
As with many controversial issues relating to European regulation, the discussion focused on the details. When the Commission first presented a draft regulation, it invited the publishers to waive their rights to demand money from the services of aggregation of news. But last year the European Parliament has enacted a provision which makes some small publishers fear that they will not be able to let Google share your content on the Internet.
It is unclear what impact the withdrawal of Google news will be denied to publishers who rely on traffic from the search giant. Google closed its news service in Spain in 2014 after the country adopted a law that requires Spanish publications to charge news aggregators a fee for displaying excerpts of their stories. Publishers need to be compensated for the reuse of small text fragments, whether they want it or not.
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