A publication of the World Editors Forum


Tue - 27.01.2015


Google and the French government have come to an agreement that will see Google creating a €60m Digital Publishing Innovation Fund to support “transformative digital publishing initiatives” and to deepen partnerships between Google and French publishers to help increase the latter’s online revenue using Google’s advertising technology.

The two parties have been involved in negotiations for three months after the French press demanded that Google pay for linking to news content so abundantly via its search engine. Google refused, arguing that it sends a vast amount of traffic to news sites via the links in question. French president François Hollande had set a deadline of 31 January to resolve the issue, promising to introduce a legislation to tax Google if negotiations were not successful.


Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman


2013-02-04 18:23

Through a rights management company called Copiepresse, which took on Google in a court case and won, Belgian newspapers have succeeded in preventing others from exploiting their content without providing financial compensation.

Margaret Boribon, the Secretary General of Copiepresse, calls it protecting the “fair value chain in the digital world.”

“Every content producer should receive fair remuneration for their efforts. It’s a very simple principle,” she says.

And while some publishers see Google as a collaborator, protecting content revenue is essential, Ms Boribon says.

“In the 20th century, there were two pillars of revenues for the press – circulation and advertising. In the 21st century, a third pillar is needed – licensing the re-use of newspaper content,” she says.

Copiepresse does not object to individuals sharing information. What it does object to is what Ms Boribon called “systematic and professional piracy.”

When Google announced it intended to establish a Google News in Belgium in 2006, Copiepresse put it on notice that it objected to the inclusion of its members' content without payment. When Google ignored the notice, Copiepresse sued.

Six years later – after failed negotiations, retaliation (Google removed Belgian newspapers from Search as well as Google News, restoring it only under threat of lawsuit) and appeals, Copiepresse won its case. Google has one more appeal, with an ultimate decision expected in 2013.


Larry Kilman's picture

Larry Kilman


2012-05-10 13:27

The US District Court of Nevada ruled Friday, March 9 that online political forum Democratic Underground did not violate copyright law when one of its users posted an excerpt from a Las Vegas Review-Journal article to prompt political discussion, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported.

Plaintiff and counterdefendant Righthaven LLC alleged that it owned the copyright of the newspaper article, and that defendants and counterclaimants Democratic Underground and David Allen infringed upon that copyright, according to a declaratory statement released by the court.

The court ruled that the defendants committed “no volitional act giving rise to a claim for direct copyright infringement” and that “the act of posting this five-sentence excerpt of a fifty-sentence news article on a political discussion forum is a fair use pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 107, and that the fair use doctrine provides a complete defense to the claim of copyright infringement from which this suit arose,” the statement said.


Gianna Walton's picture

Gianna Walton


2012-03-14 16:37

Leading technology blog Wired has decided to release all photos from its in-house photography team under a Creative Commons license.

In an era when so many online publications are considering how they can monetize content, it is interesting to see one publication sacrificing copyright gains in favour of 'giving something back' to the internet community.

The blog told readers "Like many other sites across the web, we've benefited from CC-licensed photos at Wired.com for years -- thank you, sharers! It seems only fitting, and long overdue, to start sharing ourselves."

The site, with the collaboration of its in-house photographers Jim Merithew, Keith Axline and Jon Snyder, has released material under a CC BY-NYC license, which is defined by the Creative Commons website as

"Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don't have to license their derivative works on the same terms."


Katherine Travers


2011-11-08 17:33

Copyright infringement is a huge problem for news agencies as online, images and text are easier to duplicate than ever and for those companies and journalists who rely on selling their content to survive, this is bad news.

The problem is, what can be done about it?

The International Journalists Network has reported that Agence France-Presse and the Spanish news wire EFE may have seized upon a solution... Hire some copyright detectives.

Attributor is one company that AFP and EFE have hired to make sure their copyright isn't infringed. It tracks content that should be syndicated and discovers whether websites have pirated the same material for their own use without paying a proper fee.

In 2010 the company released the results of a study which claimed that 400,000 unlicensed news articles were used across the 44,906 sample news sites included in the research. Clearly, there is a market for a product that can stop this unlicensed reproduction of content.


Katherine Travers


2011-09-21 16:26

Whilst covering the riots on 6th August, the BBC used photographs from social media sources without correctly identifying the people who captured the images and then displayed them on the Internet via Twitter.

The BBC Complaints department then incorrectly attested that there were no legal issues with copyright as the images were placed in the public domain.

The BBC has now taken the opportunity to clear the air and explain that this is not reflective of its policy and that it always attempt to credit the sources of images and other information gathered via social media.

In fact, the BBC has a whole department, the User Generated Content Hub, which is dedicated to finding and verifying online sources. (To read more the BBC's verification of online sources, see The Editors Weblog)

However, the BBC has now stated that it is prepared to release an image without correctly attributing its source, if the Senior Editor decides that it is in the public interest.

The 'publish first, ask questions later' approach is becoming ever more common in media, as news organization must keep abreast of the constant tide of information from social media.


Katherine Travers


2011-08-17 18:54

After a court decision that ordered it to remove a group of Belgian newspapers from Google News search results, Google not only blocked the newspapers from its news site but also removed them from its main search index, the Associated Press reported. Google said that this was necessary to comply with the Belgian court's decision, All Things D reported. A consortium representing the newspapers claimed, however, that Google was retaliating against the newspapers over the copyright infringement suit.

The case started in 2006, when Copiepresse, a newspaper copyright management company, filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming that Google News had no right to post links to its members' content. The resulting ruling forced Google to remove links and snippets of French- and German-language Belgian newspapers from its news search. Google tried to overturn that ruling but was unsuccessful, Bloomberg reported in May.


Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson


2011-07-18 16:08

Since its advent, the Internet has blurred the lines between copyrighted and free content. Publishers are frustrated with the seeming inability to keep material under control, and commentators are increasingly careful about sourcing material in order to stay on the right side of copyright and plagiarism cases.

One such case earlier this week ruled that reposting an article in its entirety, even without the owner's authority, was fair use of the work. In this particular instance, Righthaven, a company specializing in copyright litigation, sued Wayne Hoehn, a user of the site medjacksports.com, for posting an article to prompt discussion. Righthaven argued that posting the article reduced the number of hits the Review-Journal site would have received.

After citing the fair use clause as he ruled in favor of Hoehn, the judge explained that he found the posting to be for non-commercial purposes. He added that Righthaven did not have enough of a stake in the dispute to entitle it to bring the case to court.


Florence Pichon


2011-06-22 14:10

Poynter recounted Shawna Malvin Redden's first-hand experience on how quickly the press can pick up material from social media websites and use it in news reporting. When her plane emergency landed in Yuma, Arizona, because of a hole in the fuselage, Redden updated her Twitter account with pictures of the damaged plane. During the two hours the passengers waited for another plane to arrive, her photos started circulating in the Internet, ending up on sites such as CNN. At least two other passengers had their photos picked up by the news media as well.

Redden's case not only illustrates how the press can get material from social media quickly and easily but also raises pertinent questions about copyrights\. According to Redden, some news organisations used her images without asking permission, and only one, Reuters, offered to pay her.

Poynter's article points out that there is little consensus in the news business on how copyright laws should be understood when dealing with photos on content-sharing websites. In an urge to get material published as quickly as possible, many online news services are willing to gamble by using photographs without permission and hoping that the photographers either will not notice or not understand that their copyright has been violated.


Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson


2011-04-12 16:55

In an increasingly intrusive world, many users fear for their privacy. Today, they can breathe a little easier. The AP News Registry service implemented a "Do Not Track" (DNT) header in their web browsers, according to paidContent.

The header is a privacy tool launched by Mozilla in January, said the company's blog. The Associated Press is the largest company to implement it. According to TechEye, the company will implement the change across 800 news sites that receive 175 million visitors each month. The whole process took one engineer only a few hours to put into operation.

AP started its news registry to help collect data for news organizations. It allows it to track usage of their content and keep it from being exploited over the Internet. Implementing DNT headers will not harm the large part of the data it receives. Even though it will stop it from being able to see the specific links users have clicked on in a progression, it will still be able to see the number for which links are the most popular.


Meghan Hartsell


2011-04-01 18:09

Syndicate content

Editors Weblog

The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.

© 2013 WAN-IFRA - World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Footer Navigation