Mar 29, 2021
Google has signed its first licensing agreements in Italy with several publishers to pay them money for using news content through the News Showcase platform.

Showcase is slated to go live in Italy "in the coming weeks". The platform has already been launched in Germany, Belgium, India, the Netherlands, France, Australia and other countries. In October 2020, Google announced that it would pay $ 1.3 billion through Showcase in a three-year publisher support program.

Italian publishers with an agreement with Google include RCS Mediagroup, which publishes the daily Corriere della Sera and the popular sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport; publisher of the national daily Il Sole 24 ore; Caltagirone editore, which owns the Il Messaggero newspaper. A total of 13 publishing companies signed the agreements, giving Showcase users access to 76 national and local media outlets.

Financial details of the deals were not disclosed.

The arrival of News Showcase in Italy may “pave the way” for the service to Spain, the agency said. In 2014, the Spanish government passed legislation requiring services like Google News to pay tax on citing media excerpts. Google responded by shutting down its Google News service in Spain.

In April 2019, an EU directive was signed to modernize copyright in the digital age. It should become law in June 2021. The new law should provide income for music, film and text creators from the distribution of their works. Thus, one of the articles of the directive allows the media to receive remuneration for the reuse of their materials by aggregators - such as Google News - or social networks. Another article is to encourage platforms like YouTube to better reward content creators. European countries are given two years to issue their own laws on this. Neither Italy nor Spain have done this yet.

How publishers manage to win their income from media giants and who can help them in this struggle, read the material of media expert Elena Shitikova.