benjamin-dada-EDZTb2SQ6j0-unsplashThe newly enacted copyright laws in the EU have already been the source of no small amount of contention by parties who feel the regulations are too restrictive and onerous to those required to adhere to the guidelines. The laws have already faced a challenge from a country within the bloc, and there has been plenty of rumbling from the tech giants who find themselves now largely responsible for adjusting their practices to be in compliance. It's an incipient battle that might now be seeing its first volley.

In response to a mooted new requirement under EU copyright law dubbed a "link tax", Google announced that they would no longer be showing links in France to new stories withing Google News, instead offering only thumbnail imaged and previews. The move would seem to be in response to the proposed fee required of Google to share text snippets of news stories along with the link, with proponents arguing that copyright holders are entitled to compensation for Google using their work, even in a limited fashion. It's an idea that Google is clearly not fond of; as Nicole Martin notes in Forbes, Google shut down Google News altogether in Spain in 2014 after the passage of a law that required payment for shared news articles.

It doesn't mean the end of links and excerpts on Google News entirely, as publishers can still share their content their provided that they don't want or ask for payment from Google for said links and snippets. But there is an interesting dynamic in play, given the power that Google holds over the internet as a whole. It's the default search engine for no small portion of the world's online population, and can largely set the terms it wants in these kinds of battles with websites and content creators; in this case, there are likely to be many publishers and news outlets who are willing to forego any fee that might be asked of Google in order to maintain the reach of being on Google News, and therefore generating the clicks needed for ad revenue on their sites.

Regardless of how this particular case shakes out, it's seemingly the first parry in what will surely be an ongoing fight between Google and the EU, or more broadly between big tech and the regulatory bodies of world government. And seeing as neither group will be going away anytime soon, it would seem that there needs to be a balance struck, or rather big tech needs to accede to the idea of the rights of copyright holds as well as to the basic precept of regulation.

Join for Free Business Risk Assessment