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Saturday, 24 November 2012
French minister of culture speaks of Google, Amazon and Loi Hadopi
As her surname clearly suggests, Mme
Filippetti is of Italian descent. This week she was in Umbria to attend
some celebrations in honour of her grandfather Tommaso, who left Italy after
WWI to work as a miner, first in Luxembourg and then in France.
Corriere secured an interview with Mme Filippetti prior to her arrival in Italy. On that occasion, the Minister had the
chance to clarify France's position as regards topics which are of sure
interest to Google, Amazon, copyright enthusiasts and users of copyright-protected
As was reported byThe 1709 Blog last month, France is thinking of following Germany and adopt a piece of legislation
which would require news aggregation sites such as Google
News to pay
royalties on the newspapers' snippets and headlines that they display. As
readers will remembers, Google is not particularly happy about this, and has
indeedthreatened to exclude French media sites from search
results if France goes ahead with plans to make search engines pay for content.
While the overall situation is heating up in Europe, inBrazil154 members of the Brazilian National Association of
Newspapers have already opted out from Google News.
En garde Googlé!
Filippetti highlighted that culture is one
of the most important resources to European economies and it would be foolish
not to develop and sustain it. Hence, if by the end of this year French,
Italian and German publishers do not achieve an agreement with Google, in
January 2013 France will adopt a law which would require Google to
pay royalties on the contents displayed on its News service. The
underlying idea is that those who profit from the distribution of contents must also
contribute economically to their creation. If this is true for TV networks, the
same should apply also to providers, websites and digital platforms, said the
Not the kind of dumping Amazon is interested in
Filippetti also spoke of how internet
giants like Amazon are threatening traditional publishers, egGallimard. She claimed that, although it is likely
that Amazon will soon have a super-dominant position in Europe, the Commission
does not seem to care. This is because this seems more interested in
contrasting certain behaviours of small publishers who are just trying to
cope with Amazon's threatening presence, rather than enquiring on
Luxembourg-based giant whose business model is based on distance sales and
unacceptable fiscal strategies involving price distribution dumping.
Mme Filippetti also spent a few words on
controversialLoi Hadopi(on whichseehere,here,here,here ...), and said that the fight
against piracy is best served not by laws like Hadopi, but by the development
of fully licensed services such asSpotify andDeezer,
although the royalties currently paid by these services are too low and should be increased.
Following this interview, there seems to
be a lot to think about, as those addressed by Mme Filippetti are all topics
which are currently at the centre of attention a bit everywhere in Europe ... What
do readers think?