Google Going to Block Access to French Media Sites?
Relations between Google and the French could be better. Earlier this week a French led EU protest against the merging of Google privacy policies has resulted in Google having to give users much more control over their data.
The latest bust-up comes over a proposed French law that would force search engines to pay for the content they're linking to. The bizarre proposal has seen Google respond by threatening to exclude French media sites from its index.
The news results from a letter sent by Google to French ministerial offices this month saying that they cannot accept such a move, and the consequences would be an exclusion of French sites in their index.
That said, such a law, which would require Google to make payments to media sites for displaying links to their content, would "threaten (Google's) very existence".
It also noted that Google "redirects four billion 'clicks' per month towards the Internet pages" of French media.
The whole affair originated when French newspaper publishers, suffering with falling revenue from their print publications, called on the government to enact a law that would force search engines to pay for their content.
Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti told a parliamentary commission this week that she was in favor of the idea, calling it "a tool that it seems important to me to develop".
Yet more evidence, if any was required, that the French simply don't get the Internet and the culture surrounding it. It does beg the question though, if Google were to ban French content from their index, would anyone notice?