This is a first in Europe.

On Thursday January 21, the Alliance de la presse d'Information générale (Apig), which represents some 300 French dailies and weeklies, announced that it had signed a framework agreement with Google France relating to the use of online press publications at title of "neighboring right", this new right similar to copyright, created in 2019.

The two parties considered that it was "the culmination of many months of negotiations within the framework set by the Competition Authority".

This agreement "sets the framework within which Google will negotiate individual licensing agreements with members" of Apig, for recognized publications of "political and general information", explain the signatories.

These license agreements "will cover neighboring rights, and will also give newspapers access to News Showcase", this program recently launched by Google in which it pays media for a selection of enriched content.

It remains to be seen how much this windfall could represent for the French press, the financial data of the agreement being confidential.

Contacted by AFP, Google and Apig did not provide any details on this subject.

First agreements in November

Google had already signed in November agreements with several titles in the French press, including Le Monde, Courrier international, L'Obs, Le Figaro, Liberation and L'Express, on the remuneration of their content, but the one that was concluded with Apig sets a new general framework.

According to the press release, the remuneration of publishers will be calculated individually and "based on criteria such as, for example, the contribution to political and general information, the daily volume of publications or even the monthly Internet audience".

For Pierre Louette, CEO of Les Echos - Le Parisien and president of Apig, this agreement "marks the effective recognition of the neighboring right of press publishers and the start of their remuneration by digital platforms for the use of their publications. online".

For his part, the boss of Google France Sébastien Missoffe sees it as confirmation of a "commitment" from the group which opens up to press editors "new perspectives".

Neighbor right

Apig and Google have come a long way: the French press accused Google at the end of 2019 of flouting neighboring rights, this right similar to copyright, created by a European directive and supposed to lead to a better sharing of digital revenues for the benefit newspaper publishers and news agencies.

>> To read: Sued by the EU, Google shows its muscles and defends itself

This new right barely entered into force in France, Google had decided unilaterally to index less well the newspapers which would refuse to let it continue to exploit their contents (titles, extracts of articles and thumbnails) for free in its search results.

The French press, having little choice, had complied but immediately seizing the Competition Authority, which in April 2020 had ordered Google to negotiate "in good faith" with publishers, a decision then confirmed by the Court call from Paris.

This framework agreement, for a period of three years, does not cover all the French written press, in particular the press agencies including Agence France-Presse, still in full negotiations with Google, while discussions with the Syndicate of publishers magazine press (SEPM) and the American group have so far come to an end.

With AFP and Reuters

The summary of the week

France 24 invites you to come back to the news that marked the week

I subscribe

Take international news everywhere with you!

Download the France 24 application