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Eric Schmidt meeting with French government to discuss search engine levy law

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Eric Schmidt
Eric Schmidt

Late last week it was reported that Google was considering blocking French news websites from its search results should the country choose to pass a law requiring search engines to pay for access to articles. In a move that underlines the severity of the issue, Quartz reports that Google’s Eric Schmidt will pay a visit to Paris to discuss the situation with Fleur Pellerin, France’s Junior Minister of Innovation and the Digital Economy. Pellerin believes the two parties can come to an agreement following negotiations, negating the need for the originally proposed law.

The French government suggests, however, that the law would help to restore lost revenue to online news publications. After Google has indexed headlines along with the first few sentences of an article, readers wouldn't necessarily feel the need to click through to the website of origin, potentially depriving it of advertising revenue as a result. Still, Google has tangled with a similar issue in the past: it agreed to license content from the AFP for Google News in 2007 following a copyright dispute. The company may just arrive at a similar resolution pending discussions with the French government.