EU Online Copyright Reform Epic Fail

Google France

Online publishers in the EU were all excited about Article 15 of the EU’s copyright directive which allows the press to request money from platforms like Google and Facebook when copyrighted material appears on their respective sites.

France transposed the EU’s copyright reforms into a national law that takes effect October 1st. There’s only one small problem. Google says, “Non, merci.

The French got it horribly wrong. Google doesn’t charge for content, they sell ads. As I have often said, “Google is not a search engine, it is a highly specialized direct response advertising engine purpose-built to translate the value of ‘intention’ into wealth for Google (Alphabet) shareholders. It is optimized to put the right ad in front of the right person at the right time – all other considerations are secondary.”

Once again, a government has demonstrated that it does not have the intellectual or policy framework required to legislate the data-elite.

Instead of paying publishers, a post on The Official Google France Blog says, “When the French law comes into force, we will no longer display an overview of the content in France for European press publishers, unless the publisher has made the arrangements to indicate that it is his wish.” Cher gouvernement, meilleure chance la prochaine fois.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

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About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is a business advisor and technology consultant. He helps Fortune 500 companies with digital transformation, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn's Top Voice in Technology, he is the co-host of "Think About This with Shelly Palmer & Ross Martin." He covers tech and business for Good Day New York, writes a weekly column for Adweek, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC, and writes a popular daily business blog. Follow @shellypalmer or visit

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