Google signs copyright agreements with six French newspapers

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Google is seen in Davos, Switzerland Januar 20, 2020. Picture taken January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

PARIS (Reuters) - Alphabet’s Google has signed copyright agreements with six French newspapers and magazines, including national dailies Le Monde and Le Figaro, the U.S. tech company said in a post on its blog on Thursday.

The announcement follows months of bargaining between Google, French publishers and news agencies over how to apply revamped EU copyright rules, which allow publishers to demand a fee from online platforms showing extracts of their news.

The world’s biggest search engine initially fought against the idea of paying publishers for the content, saying their websites benefited from greater traffic brought by Google.

The agreements with the six French newspapers are based on criteria such as the publisher’s “contribution to political and general information,” the daily volume of publications, the monthly internet traffic and the use of their content on Google’s platform, Google said.

The tech giant said it is also in talks with other French national and regional dailies and magazines, and aims to reach a framework agreement with the country’s print-press lobby by the end of the year.

The agreements with French newspapers involve Google’s vehicle to remunerate news publishers, dubbed Google News Showcase, which already has agreements with leading publications in neighbouring Germany.

Google’s statement comes a month after a court ruling ordered the U.S. company to open talks with publishers in France about paying to use their content.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Alex Richardson and Nick Tattersall