Google has been in a protracted dispute with French authorities who have wanted Google to pay for the summary “snippets” of online articles that show up under the URL in a web search. This dispute has come to a close and Google won’t have to pay for the snippets directly–instead it’s settled for an equivalent donation of $82 million which will go to helping traditional French publishers promote their online content better (using Google’s own ad technology, of course).
Despite being confusing to those born in the Net generation, this search tax idea has popped up elsewhere with both Italy and Germany variously mulling a fee against Google. Publishers say Google is depriving its linked sites from revenues because readers are merely scanning Google’s results instead of visiting on-linked sites. The latest dispute is not the first legal tussle Google’s had in France.