Google Services Update in Czechia Following European Copyright Directive Transposition

December 12, 2022

On Monday, December 12 2022, Google published a blog post in Czech discussing the European Copyright Directive. This Directive protects news publishers' content online by allowing search engines such as Google to freely link to and use short extracts of this content. Furthermore, the law also creates new rights for publishers when longer previews of their content are displayed online.

Google has been in discussions with news publishers across the EU to enter into agreements over the use of protected content since 2021. To date, Google has concluded agreements with more than 1,000 European publications, associations or collecting societies and many more discussions are still ongoing. This is part of Google's commitment to support journalism and be one of the world’s biggest financial supporters of journalism; each month people click through millions of stories from news publishers on Google platforms and contribute towards payments to these publishers. European Copyright Directive, Published blog post in Czech 1,000 European publications Biggest financial supporters

The enactment of an updated Copyright Law in Czechia has made it impossible for Google to enter into agreements with Czech news publishers. This is because the display of potentially protected content is subject to an unreasonable financial and operational risk to Google's business, even for routine updates. As a result of this risk, Google will be removing the display of previews (snippets, thumbnails and video previews) from its services including: Google Search, Discover and News in Czechia. Headlines and links will still remain in place. Additionally, due to the constraints placed on their products by this amendment, Google News Showcase, a licensing program which pays publishers for content curated across Google News and Discover, will no longer be available in Czechia. This roll out of changes will take place gradually over the coming weeks.

Google recently shared an example of what the results of an EU press publication might look like in the Czech Republic before and after law was enacted. Before, a Google search result in Czechia showed a snippet of the article, an image preview, the headline, and the URL. After the law was enacted, results showed only the headline of the article and URL. Throughout this legislative debate, Google has voiced their concerns about how this could negatively impact Czech internet users. To learn more about their position, readers can read Google's blog post titled "Workable path forward with Publishers in Czechia”. Site-specific questions can be directed to Sulina Connal, Managing Director News Partnerships commented on this issue as well.

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