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Google Fined 250M Euros for AI IP Infringement by French Watchdog

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Google Fined 250M Euros for AI IP Infringement by French Watchdog

Google has agreed to pay a fine to the French government’s competition watchdog for violating European Union intellectual property laws regarding media publishers. The French competition authority accused Google’s AI service, formerly known as Bard and now called Gemini, of using content from local publishers and news agencies without proper notification and clearance. In response, Google stated on its French-language blog that it is the only platform with licensing agreements with 280 French press publishers, amounting to millions of euros annually. Google accepted the fine and the demand to change negotiation tactics in order to resolve the case, which it believes has been ongoing for too long.

The company acknowledged that it compromised to move forward and focus on sustainable approaches to connect Internet users with quality content and collaborate constructively with French publishers. Google referred to the fine as disproportionate, considering the specific issues raised by the French watchdog. The company also claimed that its efforts to address the regulators’ feedback were not adequately recognized, especially in a complex environment where it is challenging to predict specific actions.

This fine is connected to a copyright dispute case in France, initiated by complaints from leading news companies, including Agence France Presse (AFP), regarding online content. Interestingly, Google recently announced plans to establish a new AI hub in Paris in partnership with the French government. This hub is expected to house approximately 300 researchers and engineers who will support France’s AI ambitions. France is home to Mistral AI’s Mistral Large language model (LLM), which Microsoft will make accessible on its Azure AI Studio and Azure Machine Learning platforms through a collaboration with Mistral AI.

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