Google settles dispute with French newspapers

According to the settlement, as reported in the blog of Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Google has agreed to set up € 60 million “Digital Publishing Innovation Fund”, and give French news publishers access to Google's advertising platforms at a reduced rate.

The fund seems to constitute a one time payment, and displaces an ongoing license fee (as originally demanded by French news publishers).

While many seem to be surprised by this move on Google's part, it may simple be an attempt by Google to stall the French government's attempt to introduce an ancillary copyright (similar to the proposed German “Leistungsschutzrecht”) that would meant that Google and other advertising-funded search engines would have to share some of its advertising revenues with news publishers.