The EU and the #oldmedia would like to lock down information as much as they can. In this instance, Google, which has serious, serious, crony elements is in the right.
A major battle is brewing in Brussels over an EU reform plan that would force internet aggregators such as Google News to pay newspapers for displaying snippets of their articles online.
Google is furious at the reform idea, but powerful publishers, including Axel Springer in Germany or Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp in the UK, affirm that a tax is the only hope to save a news industry starving for revenue.
The fight, which will play out for the rest of the year, is the latest row straining ties between Google and the European Union, which slapped the Silicon Valley giant with a 2.4 billion euro ($2.8 billion) fine over unfair competition in June.
The proliferation of free news on the internet has brought the newspaper industry to its knees, with many consumers unwilling to pay for online service, preferring zero-cost platforms such as Google News or Facebook.
“Unauthorised internet use of media content” by aggregators and search engines “is threatening citizens’ sustainable access to quality news content,” said the European Alliance of News Agencies, of which AFP is a member.
Free and open information is a threat to “citizens“? I don’t think so. The newspapers just want a bailout.