Google is all set to alter the fashion in which it displays news stories produced by European publishers in France as the latest copyright laws come into effect.
Rather than giving the publishers a sun to display bits of their news stories, the company will display only headlines from articles, Google’s vice president of news Richard Gingras revealed Wednesday.
Google from now will only show previews and thumbnail images from news stories, that is only if publishers nod their approval to give it to them for free.
The controversial move dubbed the ‘link tax’, was meant to even the playing field after complaints that news aggregators such as Facebook and Google have been getting a lot of revenue from content created by other publishers.
But today’s announcement from Google reveals they have opted to comply with the law by overseeing stripped-back previews – which are legal – rather than paying publishers for their material.
This move will be largely disappointing for publishers who had been hopeful of additional income because of the new copyright laws that come in effect in France in October. The country is the first to impose European Union copyright rules passed a few months back.
Google has also refuted furiously against the law and even threatened to close down Google News if it were forced to pay for licenses, just as it did in Spain after that country imposed a similar law in 2014. Google’s announcement Wednesday implies it is looking for a middle ground under the latest copyright regime.
Google has always been good at explaining legal loopholes to obtain middle ground, revealed industry experts. This case will also likely follow suit. However, it remains to be seen how France reacts to this move. They are expected to not hedge and not be settling for any negotiation.