Dividends and Google must negotiate with French publishers about paying for content

If you read a newspaper or watch TV, some of the content in the news will invariably be about how changes are affecting their business. Sometimes the idea is if it affects the media business, then it affects other businesses. Some of that is true, some of it is not, but if you are in the media world, you have a bias towards media business. It is the same for whatever industry a person works in, a person in the business will tend to know the other players and roughly who is profitable and who is not.

Not long after the invention of the printing press, the news has been a profitable business because people are naturally interested which translates into advertisers wanting and needing to reach the people particularly if the item is to the general public. If you want more targeted audiences start with the specific industry magazines and trade association papers.

Along came the internet and people began to switch from the daily papers to news from the internet whether it be Google or Facebook or other companies as people switched so did advertising dollars. Now days advertisers first think of the internet, then to newspapers. When newspapers were very profitable, the owners also enjoyed a high level of connection to the leadership of the country and businesses. For a long time, the owners have been reaching out to the government for a solution.

In France, the courts are used to advance the case of the publishers. Recently, the appeals court in France ruled that Google must open talks with publishers in France about paying to use their content.

In an article by Mathieu Roseman of Reuters, the ruling means Google must meet with Publishers and News Agencies to find a way to remunerate (give money) to them under the “neighbouring right” enshrined in revamped U copyright rules, which allows publishers to demand a fee from online platforms showing news snippets.

For a number of years, Google and others published articles from the newspapers in their news feeds without paying, but referencing the news feed.

The French court differs from Google’s pledge to pay $1 billion to publishers globally over the next 3 years for their news. Google said they hope to reach an agreement with the French publishers for their news. The French courts confirms a decision in April by France’s competition authority, which ordered Google to negotiate with publishers and news agencies “the remuneration due to them for any re-use of protected content.”

Linking to dividend paying stocks, with all profitable companies they build up goodwill in the eyes of legislators and various decision makers. Whether the goodwill is valid, is not a concern, goodwill for doing business and being profitable happens. This lead to the ability to have multiple avenues to charge off competition if the competition is too tough, including protection of the known and not positive of the changes that could happen. In the case above, the Publishers have changed copyright rules and now expect to be profitable or have a better cashflow from their media outlets. When a company is profitable there are more options to defend itself, including being the best in class.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

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