Google settles French copyright complaint -- with 60M euros

To resolve a copyright dispute with French news publishers, Google agrees to helps them increase revenue through online ads and offers them a big "digital publishing innovation fund."

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam

Google is settling a copyright dispute with French news publishers by dumping 60 million euros ($81.98 million) into a digital publishing fund and agreeing to help publishers make money off online ads.

The search giant's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, posted about the new fund in a blog post today, writing that these two initiatives would "help stimulate innovation and increase revenues for French publishers." He didn't provide details of how exactly either effort is supposed to work.

Schmidt didn't mention a settlement in his post, but Google has confirmed that these actions resolve a case in which news publishers claimed that Google's practice of linking to news articles represents copyright infringement. The resolution also means Google will not have to pay for the news "snippets" that appear in its search results.

The company struck a similar deal with Belgium newspaper publishers in December. The initiatives announced then including paywalls and subscriptions, tapping Google's AdSense platform for site advertising, and collaborating on distribution of content to mobile devices.

Schmidt wrote that Google's action in France was announced jointly with France's president, François Hollande. The French government has been acting as an intermediary for the copyright dispute.