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“Web platforms produce nothing but capture most of the income”

Tribune. It is a fundamental fight for the press: Thursday, October 8, the French Court of Appeal is expected to judge the validity of the emergency measures pronounced by the Competition Authority to force Google to apply the French law on neighboring law . If the appeal court's judgment were to be negative, each publisher, each agency would then have to take individual cases to the courts. The law would not be implemented for a long time, after a year has already passed since its entry into force. The other member states of the Union, which are watching what is happening in France, will not put much effort into transposing a European directive that will seem stillborn. And Google will then have every opportunity to impose its law in title-by-title negotiation, which is moreover in a context of great fragility of the media.

Read also Copyright: Google ordered to negotiate with the media to pay for the resumption of content extracts

What's at stake? What publishers and agencies are trying to achieve is a sharing, however modest, of the value created by the content they produce and which the platforms distribute for free in the form of short summaries and photos of. drawing. The model advocated by the platforms is to produce nothing but to appropriate the bulk of the revenues – since an overwhelming share of the digital advertising generated by this content goes to them. In this model, the value is captured by the one who is content to relay the information: it is a little as if the distributors reap all the film receipts, leaving only crumbs for the producers.

It’s as if a radio was telling performers: “I give you visibility by broadcasting you, I will not pay you on top of that …”

Neighboring right (copyright) is not a regulatory quirk: it has been proven in the music or audiovisual industry to compensate performers for the rebroadcasting of works in which they have participated. Google is opposed in principle to neighboring rights, considering that it is already providing an immense service to publishers by giving visibility to their content. It is exactly as if a radio station said to performers, which it pays today through neighboring rights: “I give you visibility by broadcasting you, I will not pay you on top of that …”.

Read also Understanding everything in neighboring law, at the heart of the dispute between Google and the media

Yet what would radios be without interpreters? The same goes for platforms: what would they be without the press? In Australia, where a similar fight is taking place, the platforms threaten to no longer index press titles. But, without news, their service would be very degraded: someone who would type “Sydney” on Google would find there above all fixed, official content, which would coexist with a tide of infox since clear space would thus be made for already massive disinformation. .

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