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Google says it has signed agreements with several major German publishers to avoid copyright disputes over the use of their material

BERLIN – Google announced on Friday that it had signed agreements with several major German publishers to avoid copyright disputes over the use of their material.

The internet giant said it has made deals with publishers, including the news weeklies Der Spiegel and Die Zeit, tech portals Golem and Netzwelt, as well as business publications WirtschaftsWoche and Manager Magazin.

“Many conversations with various publishers are at an advanced stage,” Google added in a statement.

The move comes after Germany introduced a new ancillary copyright law in June that grants publishers additional rights to their content. The new law distinguishes between using very short snippets – so-called snippets – and extended previews, but doesn’t specify where the line falls between the two.

The deal between Google and the publishers aims to avoid costly and lengthy lawsuits over this distinction.

Google said payments to publishers would be “based on established copyright principles and follow consistent criteria,” without giving details.

The company signed a similar deal with French publishers earlier this year.

This week, Google and Agence France-Presse announced a five-year agreement under which the online giant will pay the French national news agency for content in Europe. AFP Director General Fabrice Fries said the agreement “is recognition of the value of information”.

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