Microsoft today announced that it will work with Europe’s press publishers on a solution to ensure that press publishers get paid for the use of their content by gatekeepers like Facebook and Google who have dominant market power. EMMA, ENPA, EPC, NME and Microsoft are calling for an arbitration mechanism to be implemented in European or national law requiring such gatekeepers to pay for press content in full respect of the Publisher‘s Right set out in Directive 2019/790. If the proposed laws are passed in the EU, platform providers like Google will have to start paying publishers for including their news links in search results.
The solution should mandate payments for the use of press publishers’ content by these gatekeepers and should include arbitration provisions, to ensure that fair agreements are negotiated. Such provisions should consider the model established by the Australian law, which enables an arbitral panel to establish a fair price based on an assessment of the benefits derived by each side in having the news content included on these gatekeepers’ platforms, the costs of producing this content, and any undue burden an amount would place on the platforms themselves.
Casper Klynge, Vice President, Microsoft, said “Access to fresh, broad and deep press coverage is critical to the success of our democracies. Our commitment to preserving and promoting journalism isn’t new. In October 2020, we launched a new initiative to invest in and support local media and, through Microsoft News, we have been sharing a large portion of revenue with press publishers. This initiative is a logical next step.”