Portuguese media outlets demand Google pay for links, news leads

The latest example of a trend sweeping the Continent: Make the company pay for the right to use links, story snippets in Google News.

Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt arrives at the Elysee Palace for a meeting with French President Francois Hollande (not pictured) on Oct. 29, 2012, in Paris. Getty Images
With Portugal's economy in an increasingly parlous state and Europe's banking system suffering through yet another crisis, this Reuters headline out of Lisbon ought not to shock anyone: "Portugal media demands Google pays for news.' Specifically, it wants Google to offer financial compensation for using article links and snippets of lead paragraphs in Google News.

By now, this is turning into the never-ending story. European media organizations have long argued that Google ought to share more of its wealth with them for the right to use their material. For instance, Belgian papers sued Google more than $6.5 million in advertisement inventory (that case was settled without Google admitting liability). The French have threatened -- but since backed away from -- an idea to legislate some sort of compensation fund for local publishers trying to expand their online arms. More recently, Germany has started the process of considering a far-reaching copyright bill to let publishers charge for the online use of their articles. The bill is making its way through the country's legislature.

Back to Portugal, where Alberico Fernandes, head of the Portuguese Confederation of Social Communication Media, told Reuters that "the content has to be paid for." He said the two sides plan to continue regular meetings.

We've contacted Google for comment and will update this post when we have more information.

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