Google attacks EU copyright owner plan

Google has attacked an EU plan designed to ensure copyright owners get a fairer share of income, saying the measures would force it to vet text, video, and images before they can be shared on its YouTube service.

“This would effectively turn the internet into a place where everything uploaded to the web must be cleared by lawyers before it can find an audience,” it said in a blog post after the European Commission unveiled draft rules that would also allow newspapers to demand payment when services such as Google News run their articles.

Google, owned by Alphabet, is already fighting three EU antitrust probes into search, phone software, and advertising.

If the proposals become law, the company may have a weaker hand when dealing with copyright holders, boosted by more powers to withdraw content or demand compensation.

EU regulators said they want to protect publishers and creators when their work is made available on the internet, often without remuneration.

“This proposal provides for a new right for press publishers aiming at facilitating online licensing of their publications, the recoupment of their investment and the enforcement of their rights,” the Commission said.

“Fair sharing of value is also necessary to ensure the sustainability of the press publications sector.”

European publishers have been battling Google for years as advertising and consumers increasingly move online. Music and video copyright owners also complain that Google is free-riding by making profits from advertising shown next to most content.


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