Twelve Dutch publishers will investigate whether they can negotiate with major tech companies about copyrights. These include newspaper owners DPG Media (owner of, among others, de Volkskrant and Trouw) and the Mediahuis (NRC, De Telegraaf) and broadcasting companies such as the NPO and RTL Nederland.
Last month, a new EU directive came into force that gives news media more options to negotiate with platforms such as Facebook and Google about the use of their content. It is not about links or headlines, but the use of multiple sentences and images.
Only difficult to negotiate
The parties report in a joint press release that it is not always easy for individual organizations to reach balanced agreements with the platforms. For this reason, the possibilities for cooperation are now being explored. It is emphasized that because of the “complexity of this theme” this will take some time.
No companies are named in the press release, but it is likely that it mainly concerns the two tech giants. Earlier today, Google was fined by a French regulator for not acting properly in negotiations.
At the beginning of this year, disagreements between Facebook and the Australian government escalated to such an extent that Facebook briefly blocked Australian news media on its platform. After hard words back and forth, agreement quickly followed.
Google and Facebook have both opted for the flight forward by putting their own proposals on the table. With ‘Google Showcase’ and ‘Facebook News’ they hope to reach agreements with publishers about compensation. This has been done, for example, in Australia.
Google says in a response to “respect” the way publishers want to negotiate. The tech giant says it aims to reach “fair and reasonable agreements” and says it has already succeeded in recent months with “hundreds of other publications”. Facebook was not immediately available for comment.
A spokesperson for DPG Media said on behalf of the parties that he was unable to say anything further about how any negotiations will be conducted.