Business World

Saturday 19 October 2019

Google says EU rules will force it to cut news services

'The legislation would force Google to share revenue with publishers for news and headlines used on its website. Its YouTube video service would be liable for music royalties.' Stock photo: Reuters
'The legislation would force Google to share revenue with publishers for news and headlines used on its website. Its YouTube video service would be liable for music royalties.' Stock photo: Reuters
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Google has claimed it will be forced to slash the range of news thrown up by its search engine if European rules to protect copyright owners come into force.

The European Parliament's proposed version of the legislation would force Google along with Facebook and other technology firms to share more revenues with publishers of news, music and other content.

The European Commission launched a major debate on copyright reforms two years ago in an attempt to ensure that online platforms pay publishers, broadcasters and artists a fair share of their online revenue and also bear liability for online infringement.

The plans are moving ahead, and have been broadly backed by groups representing European creators of content.

In September the European Parliament further beefed up the proposal in favour of copy­right owners. That prompted a backlash from tech giants - including Google. As well as lobbying, Google has now launched a direct appeal to users.

The legislation would force Google to share revenue with publishers for news and headlines used on its website. Its YouTube video service would be liable for music royalties.

Now, in online advertising run over the weekend, Google said the EU rules would "likely benefit larger publishers and restrict the flow of traffic to smaller ones, making it harder for small, niche or new publications to find an audience and generate an income".

Google said this would mean fewer news sources being seen by the public.

Google singled out Article 11 of the proposed copyright legislation. It is dubbed the "neighbouring rights" clause and would force online platforms to pay publishers for material at links shared on their websites - such as a link to a news article.

In a sign Google intends to ramp up lobbying, it said it will continue to update users.

Irish Independent

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