More than a year ago, CEDRO filed a lawsuit against Google for the alleged non-payment of 1.1 million euros in copyright, an amount that the entity of management of rights of authors and publishers considered an estimate of the debt that the search engine company would have incurred for the aggregation of content through Google Discover.
This is due to the fact that CEDRO understands that the same rule (article 32.2 of the Intellectual Property Law) that allowed requiring Google to pay a fee for Google News – a payment that the company avoided making by closing the Spanish version of this service – forces it to pay for its popular mobile news app.
However, this attempt was abruptly stopped at the end of last month, when the Mercantile Court nº 16 of Madrid ruled against the plaintiffs. The jurist Javier N. Seoane has now analyzed in a Twitter thread the sentence (available on the CGPJ website), which defines as “very hard”.
The judge considers that CEDRO has tried to compensate with Discover the amount that it planned to enter with Google News
In it, first of all, It is clearly dismissed that the aggregation of Discover content infringes the Intellectual Property Law, because the news displayed in this app does not even reach the condition of ‘non-significant fragment’, defining them as “single words” that do not differ at all from the links shown in the search engine.
In addition, the judgment itself attributes the presentation of the claim precisely to the aforementioned closure of Google News, which prevented CEDRO from “collecting the amount that was expected”, a loss that he would have tried to compensate now by requesting more than one million euros (and leaving the door open to ask for “more than 14 million”) for Google Discover …
… Some compensation calculations that the court also strongly rejects, both because of the rates applied and because of the calculation method itself. But CEDRO’s problem is that not only will it not receive 1 or 14 million, but it will also have to face the payment of the costs of the judgment.
Said costs, according to sources from the Madrid Bar Association reported by the Journalists Network, would amount to a minimum of 60,000 euros (based on professional college fees), to which other concepts are probably added agreed between Google and his lawyer.
CEDRO can now appeal the sentence, thereby Payment to Google could take up to two years if you choose to take your case to the Supreme Court (and this does not give the reason to the entity). But, equally, the coasts could continue to grow.
And CEDRO will have to explain to its 30,000 partners —not only media editors, but also writers, journalists and translators— why the entity has been forced to pay precisely to Google slightly less than half of the amount collected by the AEDE canon in 2020 (€ 138,995) … or more than what was collected in 2018 and 2019 (€ 20,000 and 14,000, respectively).