Google’s unilateral decision to remove short extracts from search results in France following the French Government’s adoption of the publisher’s [neighbouring] right, in line with the new EU copyright directive, is an abuse of monopoly and contrary to a law designed to incentivise licensing and defend the press and democratic debate.
European Publishers Council (EPC) Executive Director Angela Mills Wade said: “Google’s behaviour is unacceptable. This move is a flagrant, albeit predictable, abuse of monopoly power by a company that feels it can set the rules and expect everyone else to fall in behind. We would question why one of the most innovative companies in the world would choose to diminish their own product, limit access to a diversity of news and professional journalism, rather than talking to publishers and agreeing terms to enhance their product to the benefit of publishers, journalists and consumers.
“The EU copyright directive was designed to level the playing field between monopolies and rightholders, creating incentives to licence. With this action, Google is proving exactly why this directive was necessary.”
The French Government is expected to challenge Google.
For further information, please contact Heidi Lambert on Tel: +44 1245 476 265 or Angela Mills Wade on Tel: +1865310732