Portugal’s Impresa Wants Google to Pay for Using its Content

Impresa SGPS SA, Portugal’s biggest media company, wants Google Inc. to start paying for listing its headlines and snippets of articles in search engines results.

“This assault has to stop,” said Francisco Balsemao, chairman of Lisbon-based Impresa. “The principle we must fight for is that we must be paid for our content,” he said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Google “has nothing to comment about personal opinions,” Marisa Toro, a spokeswoman for the Mountain View, California-based company, said by e-mail.

Google announced on Feb. 1 that it would create a 60 million-euro ($81 million) fund to help French newspaper and magazine publishers develop their Internet presence. That follows the French government’s threat to propose a law that would have required news aggregators to pay royalties to publishers for linking their content.

Impresa, which owns Portugal’s top-selling weekly newspaper Expresso, and Visao, one of the country’s leading news magazines, is in talks with other media companies in Portugal about how to proceed in terms of seeking compensation from Google, said Balsemao.

“For me, a good agreement is preferable to a lawsuit,” he said, adding that the 60 million euros Google will invest in the French fund is a “derisory sum.”

“Everything indicates that Google continues to refuse to pay for the indexed content and that aspect does not seem positive,” said Balsemao.

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