Google licenses content from news publishers all over the world. Its News Showcase program licenses content from 750 publications in Europe alone. However, in the past, it has come under fire from regulators in some countries about how it manages this initiative and pays publishers. Now, under guidance from the European Copyright Directive - soon to become a law in the EU - Google has launched a new tool to license content from thousands of news publishers in the region.
Basically, the European Copyright Directive allows search engines such as Google to direct users to websites by enticing them through "very short extracts" of the actual content. News publishers can also opt for longer previews, but Google says that the legislation does not currently define what a short or long preview actually means in tangible terms.
As such, Google is launching a new tool in the Search Console which will enable publishers to sign an Extended News Preview (ENP) agreement with the firm. Through this agreement, publishers will know how much they are being offered for their content and the sign-up and feedback process. Naturally, publishers will have autonomy over whether they want their content to be displayed in Google Search results, previews, and whether they even want to enter an ENP agreement.
Google further states that:
All offers are based on consistent criteria which respect the law and existing copyright guidance, including how often a news website is displayed and how much ad revenue is generated on pages that also display previews of news content.
It will be interesting to see how response European news publishers and regulators are to this tool. Google has faced its fair share of hurdles with both in the past.