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Google’s approach to Europe’s Copyright Law

Countries in the European Union are currently in the process of implementing the European Copyright Directive, which includes Article 15 or the “neighboring right”, into national law. Developed and debated over many years, the Directive gives new rights to news publishers online while ensuring that consumers can continue to freely access information through online platforms. As countries implement this new law, we have started negotiations with news publishers to license content under these new rights.

The Directive provides two important guiding principles. On the one hand, people and platforms can continue to link to, and include, very short extracts of publishers’ content (referred to as the snippet exemption or snippet exception in Germany). At the same time, the law creates new rights for news publishers when extended previews of their work are used online.

While the law in most countries does not define the scope of protected content, we have already started discussions with hundreds of news publishers across countries including Germany, Hungary, France, Denmark and the Netherlands where the law is now in effect. As part of this process, we are making offers for Extended News Previews, to cover the display of content from news publishers that goes beyond links and short extracts. Where possible, these offers take into account a publication’s readership, the “journalistic nature” of press publications (meaning the focus a publication has on producing journalism compared to other content) and editorial investment.

Many Member States are still in the process of implementation and it will take some time to come to agreements with news publishers that reflect national laws and the Directive itself, and we are taking on board feedback from our early discussions. Google is one of the world’s biggest financial supporters of journalism and our products and services create significant value for publishers through traffic, advertising technology and funding. At the same time, we don’t show ads — or make money — on the vast majority of searches and we don’t run ads on Google News. And, as always, publishers have full control over whether or not their content shows up in Search and how much of that content they want to be used in a preview.

Alongside these discussions, we will continue to invest in products and programs to provide even more support for journalism. Google News Showcase is another example of Google's financial support to the news industry: more than 1000 publications are signed up around the world and more than half of those are in Europe, including in Italy, Czechia, Ireland and Germany.

We look forward to working with publishers and journalists on all these efforts in the coming months, building on our long track record of support for journalism.

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