Google fined 250 million by the French Antitrust for copyright infringement

Beating of theFrench antitrust to Google, with a millionaire fine to the American IT giant guilty once again of violating EU intellectual property rules in relations with media publishers. Beyond the Alps, the defense of the copyright of journalistic content disseminated on platforms appears to be of vital importance, with France continuing to be a pioneer by continuing to inflict fines upon fines for those who don’t follow the rules.

Antitrust against Google

The French Antitrust is pointing the finger at the Mountain View company, accusing Google of violating the rules, especially for the work of Google’s AI Bard chatbot, equipped with artificial intelligence, renamed Gemini, which was trained on content from publishers and news agencies, without informing them. Having been at the forefront for the defense of copyright for years, France has thus imposed a fine of 250 million to the colossus.

For its part, Google has decided to accept the sanction and move on, even if the fine has been defined disproportionate. However, it will not be contested, even if according to the company the Antitrust would not have taken sufficient account of its efforts and the proposed corrective measures.

The fine was issued after a complaint from some editorial groups, including Agence France Presse. The publishers, in fact, had pointed out the violation of the signed rules, effectively opening proceedings which led the Antitrust to impose a million-dollar fine on Google.

France’s accusations against Google

But where does the sanction come from? As mentioned, the Antitrust maintains that Google has violated the terms of four of the seven commitments agreed in the stipulated agreement, including conducting negotiations with publishers in good faith and providing transparent information. The accusation, as mentioned, specifically concerns the use of Google’s AI Bard chatbot, launched in 2023, which would have been trained on data coming from unspecified media and news agencies, in the absence of transparent communication and above all of an agreement on the use of the contents by those who own the intellectual property.

According to the French Antitrust, Google would not have proposed to publishers “a technical solution that would allow news agencies and publishers to renounce the use of their content by Bard without compromising the display of content protected by related rights on other services Google, thus hindering the ability of news agencies and publishers to negotiate remuneration.”

Not just France

France has become, in fact, the “country in the world where Google has made the most concessions” and could be a model for the defense of ownership of journalistic content in other EU countries and beyond.

But what comes from Paris could be only the first of a series of sanctions for copyright infringement by companies like Google. In 2023, in fact, the New York Times has sued rivals Microsoft and OpenAI, the creator of the popular artificial intelligence platform ChatGpt, accusing them of having used millions of newspaper articles without authorization to train chatbots and then recreate, at will and need, automated news.