The European Copyright Directive, which is being implemented across the European Union, aims to give new rights to news publishers while allowing consumers continued access to information through online platforms. It allows search engines like Google to link and use very short extracts of press publishers' content and provides new rights for longer previews. In order to ensure compliance with the law, Google has opened discussions with news publishers across the EU and has negotiated agreements with over 1,000 European publications, associations or collecting societies since 2021. This builds on their long-standing commitment to the news industry as one of the world’s biggest financial supporters of journalism (Link 1, Link 2 Link 3).
The recent amendment to the Czech Copyright Act has made it impossible for Google to enter into agreements with Czech news publishers, due to the unreasonable financial and operational risk it presents. As a result, Google is removing previews of potentially protected content in Search, Discover and News (snippets, thumbnails and video previews) in Czechia. Headlines and links will remain in place. Additionally, Google is discontinuing its News Showcase program - which pays publishers to curate their content across Google News and Discover - due to the constraints placed on its products by this amendment being too stringent. The changes will be rolled out gradually over the course of the coming weeks.
Google has been actively voicing its concerns about the impact of the proposed EU copyright law on Czech internet users. Google Search results in Czechia will be affected by this law, with snippets of articles being replaced by only their headline and URL. A comparison of a Google Search result before and after the law is enacted reveals this difference. For more information on Google's opinion, please read their blog post Workable path forward with Publishers in Czechia.