Large publishers -members of the AMI itself- believe that the best way to approach the future is to break with the inalienable right to charge the fee.

Large publishers -members of the AMI itself- believe that the best way to approach the future is to break with the inalienable right to charge the fee.

Large publishers -members of the AMI itself- believe that the best way to approach the future is to break with the inalienable right to charge the fee.

Two weeks ago Google announced the launch of News Showcase, the technological tool that will make its licensing program a reality. The tech giant will pay so that users can access free content from its media partners.

To do this, Google will close agreements with publishers to incorporate them into this aggregator (News Showcase) in which the media will publish and highlight the content premium let them decide. The program It has an initial investment of 1,000 million dollars (850 million euros) over the next three years.

However, the project divides the traditional media in Spain, especially those that coexist in the Information Media Association (AMI)ancient Aede, where the legacy media disagree with respect to the way in which this program can be articulated in Spain.

In principle, News Showcase it cannot work in our country because the legislation prevents the media from individually deciding how they manage their copyright. Six years ago, the canon aede, or the inalienable right of publishers to charge for the use of their content in digital aggregators. A canon that also charges Cedaran entity external to the media.

Officially, the Information Media Association (AMI) was opposed to the existence of Google News Showcase since six years ago they were the promoters of the implementation of the controversial article 32.2 that establishes a fee to internet aggregators for using the contents of Spanish publishers.

AMI statement

The ME expressed his concern “for the attempt of the new program Google News Showcase to avoid the application of the publisher’s right in Spain and in Europe”. In AMI’s opinion, although it constitutes a step by the American giant when it comes to recognizing the economic value and authorship of the editorial content that it includes on its platform, “there is a risk that only some publishers can benefit from it, to the detriment of others”.

The Association “I trust that Google will not use this service in order to pressure press publishers to give up their rights, even more so in the current moment of crisis due to Covid-19. As they are individual agreements with some media, the spirit of a rule that seeks to protect everyone, regardless of their size, is not complied with.”

However, industry sources indicate that this institutional statement did not have the unanimity of all its partners and that even many were surprised at the blunt way in which any involvement of traditional media in this program was dismissed.

In fact, large publishers – members of the AMI itself – believe that the best way to approach the future is to break with the canon aede and open the door for each medium to decide how and with whom it shares its copyright. This does not mean that they throw themselves into the arms of Google, but they do want autonomy to decide on the authorship of their own articles.

To approve this opinion there is an irrefutable fact and it is the collection of the Canon Aede in these six years. In the Spanish case and as this newspaper already published, has raised just 10,000 euros a year, about 60,000 since it is in operation. An insignificant amount when compared to the 80 million euros per year that Aede expected to collect when the rate was approved in July 2014.

Collection of the Canon Aede

The sources consulted indicate that the forecasts made at the time by the employers’ association of publishers of the paper press they were based almost exclusively on what they could collect from Google News, but the aggregator left Spain at a time when this law was approved and never returned. In fact, our country is the only one in Europe that does not have this service from the digital giant.

At this time, no aggregator except for Upday (Samsung)the first to reach an agreement with the rights manager, has paid its dues to Cedar. The rest of those who remain in Spain, including shake mehave refused to pay based on a Supreme Court ruling of April 2018 which annulled the canon due to a formal defect.

In this sense, the Government is finalizing the bill that could repeal or maintain this canon. In December of last year -through the culture Ministry– held a public consultation on the adaptation of the Directive on copyright in the digital single marketpromulgated in April 2019 by the European Union and which has two years to be incorporated into the regulations of each member country.

“Irrevocable right”

According to sources consulted by investedthe idea of Executive is to launch a public hearing – the last step before sending the bill to Congress – in the coming months. At this time, the details of the legal body that will be presented to the sector of publishers and technology companies before the end of the year are being finalized.

The sources consulted by this newspaper indicate that the Executive is debating whether it is more convenient to apply the entirety of the community directive and the replacement of article 32.2 by number 15; either maintain without variation the controversial “inalienable right”. The EU recognizes the property of publishers over their works, but opens the door for them to be the ones to negotiate their rights and may even renounce them if they so decide.

As a background, Google, Facebook and the great technological giants finalize agreements with newspapers around the world to buy licenses that give free access to the contents of the headers, a possibility that is stopped in Spain because of this rate to the aggregators.

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