The EU recently enacted an internet censorship law giving websites the right to demand fees for linking to them. It was hoped that Google in particular would end up paying for links to European news providers struggling for revenue in the modern internet
But it seems that Google may have other ideas. Google is changing the way it displays news stories produced by European publishers in France as new copyright rules go into effect. Rather than paying publishers to display snippets of their
news stories, as was intended, Google will show only headlines from articles instead.
Google says that it doesn't pay for news content as a matter of policy. The company shut down its Google News in Spain after a law passed in 2014 would have
mandated such payments. Google are sticking to their guns. The company said:
We believe that Search should operate on the basis of relevance and quality, not commercial relationships. That's why we don't accept payment from anyone
to be included in organic search results and we don't pay for the links or preview content included in search results.
This move will disappoint publishers who had hoped for additional revenue as a result of new copyright law that goes into effect
in France next month. The country is the first to implement European Union copyright rules passed earlier this year .
But perhaps there is a worse to come for European companies. It could be that in a page of Google news search results, US news
services may have embellished entries with snippets and thumbnail images whilst the European equivalent will just have a boring text link. And guess which entries people will probably click on.
Maybe it won't be long before European companies set
their fees at zero for using their snippets and images.