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Google Government The Media Technology

France Applies Tax Pressure To Google For Republishing News Snippets 350

Posted by timothy
from the department-of-rent-seeking dept.
Qedward writes "France may introduce a law to make Google pay to republish news snippets if it doesn't strike a deal with French news publishers before the end of the year, the office of French President François Hollande said. French publishers want to share in the revenue that Google earns from advertising displayed alongside their news snippets in search results. Readers are often satisfied by reading the headline and summary published by Google News, and don't feel the need to click through to the news site, the publishers say. In this way, Google profits and the content creators don't. The publishers want to be able to charge Google to compensate them for ad revenue losses."
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France Applies Tax Pressure To Google For Republishing News Snippets

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:05AM (#41818157)

    The French really want to be removed from the internet...

  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:06AM (#41818167)

    If it's really just snippets of a larger value proposition that people are allegedly willing to pay for, then I think this is better known elsewhere in the world as "free advertising".

    Sorry France. Love your healthcare system, but this is just silly.

  • Here's a hint (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:07AM (#41818183)

    If people can get all they want out of a headline and a paragraph, maybe you should focus on making the article have more *content* and less fluff.

  • Google.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:08AM (#41818199)

    Should just drop their sites from their search results,

  • by happy_place (632005) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:09AM (#41818209) Homepage
    I wouldn't know the majority of news sites if it weren't for Google's aggregation. So I wouldn't click their sites at all. This seems like they're wanting compensation for something that already compensates them by listing them and making their site more visible.
  • by poetmatt (793785) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:11AM (#41818225) Journal

    Not quite. They want to get paid by force since they haven't tried to earn money via adapting to changes to technology.

  • by krelvin (771644) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:11AM (#41818229)

    If a site doesn't want Google to make money off of their content headlines... then they can easily opt out of having Google pick up their data and index it.

    But NO... they WANT the exposure and get a cut too.... if the law is passed, cut them off. Simple

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:14AM (#41818267)

    French newspapers for every article readers click through to....

  • by tepples (727027) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [selppet]> on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:26AM (#41818419) Homepage Journal

    Google is not the internet you moron

    If you make a piece of information available through the Internet, and you have opted out of allowing it to be indexed in the search engines that index resources available through the Internet, have you really made the piece of information available?

  • Re:Here's a hint (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baron_Yam (643147) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:30AM (#41818465)

    "Google should consider charging them for advertising they're giving them"

    I like this solution. Google should announce that they will be billing back any fees levied in France against the newspapers they index, plus a bit for administrative overhead. Any paper that doesn't like it can be banned from Google's index.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:30AM (#41818473)

    And so the usual flood of obtuse comments along the lines of "If the newspapers don't want Google using their content, ban them in robots.txt", as if the only two options are Google gets to use their stories for free, or Google is blocked from using them. Utterly failing to grasp there is a middle-way, which is "Google share some of the profit they make from the newspapers content and everyone wins".

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:32AM (#41818509)

    Sounds good. And the newspapers can share some of the profit they make from Google pointing people toward their stories, then everyone wins.

  • by CharmElCheikh (1140197) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:34AM (#41818521)
    Francois Hollande's government has been pulling new creative taxes out of their asses for a little while now. That one's completely silly but it's not the only one. Another one is a new tax on beer. I guess that's how he figures he will raise France problems: raising even more taxes, yey! That's new and usually very popular, right? The fact that it's very sneaky could have worked... if people didn't notice. Some taxes are too silly to get unnoticed. Some others are surfacing up, like a new 15% tax on rents. People are getting pissed. He'd better put these taxes to EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT use or else he's out at next election.
  • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:34AM (#41818529)

    Maybe if the average newspaper contained 'content' which wasn't freely available on the web or had more intellectual content than 'Temporary Star X has bought a new dress', people might be willing to pay for them.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:34AM (#41818535)
    Except of course that most people who read the article have never even heard of the paper before seeing it listed on Google.
  • by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:41AM (#41818621)

    ... Erm, yes! What do you think URL's are!?

    Just because I'm not in the Phone book doesn't mean people can't call me.

    If your business revolved around people calling you it means your business would probably fail.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:42AM (#41818629)

    I wonder if they've ever heard of "robots.txt"?

    Last I heard, Google was honoring it....

    But then they would get zero money and disappear from google search's results. What they want is being indexed by google *and* being payed for it (because google displays there content on google news).

    robots.txt doesn't allow this.

  • by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:44AM (#41818645)

    I wonder if they've ever heard of "robots.txt"?

    Last I heard, Google was honoring it....

    That would work fine if they wanted to be removed from the index. They want to receive Google's indexing service free and they also want Google to pay them for the privilege of giving them free indexing services. I bet if Google dropped them from the indexes for a few weeks, they'd be begging to get back in.

  • by sFurbo (1361249) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @12:13PM (#41818963)

    They own the copyrights to the material they write, and should be able to (try to) charge for others, including Google, to use that.

    No, they should be able to stop Google from using it if they don't like the terms. If only there was some easy way to politely tell Google not to index certain pages [google.com]. Then the french newspapers could do that, if they don't want certain readers to read what they have freely put on the web.

  • by CCarrot (1562079) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @12:22PM (#41819061)

    Search engines are not the internet. Google is not the only search engine.

    Indeed, but who says they won't try to strongarm the other major search providers the same way? It's the same logic chain : "hey, you're making money off of showing people some of our content, we want a piece!" Want to take wagers on how many search providers will agree to that? They're already providing these paranoid schmucks with a valuable service by indexing their content and making it available to inquiring netizens across the globe, why would they then agree to pay to provide this service?

    The French content providers could simply request that Google and other search providers only show the headline with no summary info, that would seem to work. Trouble is, if you don't show the end user enough to confirm that your article has the info they're looking for, they'll just move on to the next item in the search results. I guess that's simply the consequences of greed.

    These guys had better be confident in the fidelity and longevity of their already subscribed user base, otherwise they're shooting themselves in the foot with this move.

  • Re:robots.txt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Uberbah (647458) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @12:34PM (#41819197)

    Google is a megacorp of the kind that people protest all the time.

    No. They're not.

    Is Google getting billions in taxpayer subsidies like oil companies? No. Is Google getting billions in taxpayer bailouts after blowing their assets on get rich schemes? No. Is Google a monopoly ripping off their customers? No.

    Do you have an actual point here? No.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @01:38PM (#41820063)

    In other news the french newspaper Le Monde is trying to get a law passed that would allow them to charge everyone why walks by a news stand and reads the headlines without stopping to buy a paper.

  • by jjo (62046) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @05:01PM (#41823195) Homepage
    The problem is not forcing Google to index these papers, but forcing them to index and then forcing them to pay for the privilege. The French newspapers seem to be saying that Google listings are tremendously damaging to their business, and Google must therefore pay compensation. The newspapers seem also to be saying that this is very valuable damage, so valuable that Google must be forced to continue damaging them. Sounds a little inconsistent to me.

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