By Erdogan Cagatay Zontur
ANKARA (AA) - Google is trying to abuse its search-engine dominance in France, according to the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) on Monday.
"Google is trying to set a precedent by forcing French news publishers to offer their content for free in order to avoid fair payments to the publishers, therefore affecting their revenue and independence," EANA said in a written statement.
EANA stressed that "France is the first country to apply national rules in order to implement the European copyright directive", adding that it believes in the fair economic treatment of journalistic work set out by the new Copyright Directive to make quality journalism prevail.
"EANA as the Alliance of European News Agencies strongly supports the position of the French and European publishers protesting against Google's plans to put publishers under pressure," it added.
EANA also said that the European parliament has passed the Copyright Directive ensuring that the public has access to the best quality news, and that news publishers and agencies are paid when their content is used online.
"EANA strongly believes that European media consumers have the right to access diverse, high quality journalism," the statement said, and added: "European news agencies being at the forefront of global news gathering raise their voice to preserve a media industry that is able to fulfill this primary demand of democratic societies".
EANA serves as a professional platform to increase cooperation and information exchange between European news agencies by holding conferences each year where problems and future perspectives are discussed.
It was founded on Aug. 21, 1956 in conjunction with a conference on new media technology held in Strasbourg, France.
Its founding fathers were Western European news agencies, Anadolu Agency and Tanjug (Yugoslavia). In 1970, agencies behind the so-called "iron curtain" were invited to join.