Google v the French press: how to avoid a lose-lose scenario

Google and the French press have been negotiating for almost three months now. If there is no agreement within 10 days, the government is determined to intervene and pass a law instead. This would cause serious damage to both parties.Since last November, about twice a week and for several hours, representatives from Google and the French press have been meeting behind closed doors. To ease tensions, an experienced mediator has been appointed by the government. But mistrust and incomprehension still plague the discussions, and the clock is ticking.In the currently stalled process, the whole negotiation revolves around cash changing hands. Early on, representatives of media companies were asking Google to pay €70m ($93m) per year for five years. This would be “compensation” for “abusively” indexing and linking their contents and for collecting 20 word snippets. For perspective, this €70m is roughly the equivalent to the 2012 digital revenue of newspapers and news magazines that make up the IPG association (General and Political Information).

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