Google Fined US$270M for Using News Data to Train AI

Google Fined US$270M for Using News Data to Train AI

Autorité de la Concurrence fined Google for copyright infringement

France's competition authority, the Autorité de la Concurrence, fined Google €250 (US$270 million) for using copyrighted news snippets on Wednesday.

According to the French Competition Authority, Google overlooked the previous commitments it had with news publishers. The decision is notable as it used the copyrighted content of news publishers to train its generative AI model Gemini.

Google is blamed by the competition authority for not notifying the news publishers of copyrighted content used by GenAI. Previously, Google made commitments that ensure that makes fair payments to publishers for reusing their content.

The EU passed a pan-EU digital copyright reform that provided copyright protection rights to news headlines and snippets. The law was earlier scraped by Google News, Top Stories, and discover which displayed copyrighted news stories on their platform without giving any financial compensation to the news publishers.

Google has inked copyright agreements with hundreds of French publishers, which fall under the remit of its agreement with the Autorité de la Concurrence. As a result, their operations in this sector are strictly regulated.

The managing director for news and publishing partnerships at Google, Sulina Connal posted a blog that says that the fine is not proportionate to using copyrighted content. She also posted that Google said that they have agreed to the settlement as it's time to move on and focus on the greater good of the people by focusing on the larger goal for sustainable approaches of the tech giant to connect people with quality-based content and working constructively with French news publishers.

Google also agreed not to be part of Autorité's latest findings swapping for a fast-track process of issue and monetary compensation.

The fine imposed on Google is not just about the monetary value; it highlights a larger issue regarding the ethical use of data in artificial intelligence development. As AI technologies progress and expand, precise restrictions for the usage of copyrighted content become more crucial. This case serves as a reminder that AI developers must navigate the fine line between innovation and respect for intellectual property rights.

In response to the penalties, Google has agreed to a series of corrective measures, including the introduction of a new technical solution known as Google-Extended, which allows rights holders to opt out of Gemini without affecting their presence in Search.

The Autorité has also sanctioned Google for a slew of other violations connected to how it negotiates with French news publishers, determining that it failed to give them all the information needed to ensure fair bargaining of remuneration for their content.

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