Alphabet unit Google has signed agreements to pay more than 300 publishers in Germany, France and four other EU countries for their news, and will launch a tool that will make it easier for others to sign up too, the company has announced .
The move, due to be announced publicly later on Wednesday, follows the passage of landmark EU copyright rules three years ago, obliging Google and other online platforms to charge musicians, artists, authors, news publishers and journalists for the uses of their works pay.
News publishers, who are among Google’s harshest critics, have long urged governments to ensure online platforms pay fair remuneration for their content. Australia made such payments mandatory last year, while Canada introduced similar legislation last month.
“So far we have agreements covering more than 300 national, local and specialist news publications in Germany, Hungary, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Ireland, and many more discussions are ongoing,” Sulina Connal, director of news and publishing partnerships, said in a blog post seen by Reuters and expected to be published later Wednesday. The blog didn’t say how much publishers were paid.
Two-thirds of this group are German publishers, including Der Spiegel, Die Zeit and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
“We are now announcing the launch of a new tool to offer deals to thousands more news publishers, starting in Germany and Hungary and rolling out to other EU countries in the coming months,” Connal said in the blog post.
The tool offers publishers an enhanced news preview agreement, allowing Google to display snippets and thumbnails for a license fee.