NIXsolutions: France Fines Google €250M for Training AI on News Content

In a recent development, the French competition watchdog has imposed a €250 million fine on Google for violations related to EU regulations concerning media intellectual property and the tech giant’s artificial intelligence system.

NIX Solutions

Violation of EU Rules and AI Misuse

The watchdog clarified that Google’s AI-based chatbot, initially named Google Bard and later renamed Gemini, was trained on content from publishers and news agencies without proper notification to copyright holders. Google chose to settle the department’s claims without contesting its findings. Additionally, the company proposed measures to rectify the identified shortcomings.

Background and Legal Dispute

This fine originates from a disagreement over online content copyright in France, triggered by a complaint from major news outlets like Agence France Presse (AFP). Notably, in 2022, Google withdrew its appeal against a €500 million fine imposed by the Competition Authority following a comprehensive investigation.

Regulatory Findings and Consequences

The regulatory body determined that Google breached four of the seven points outlined in the agreement, including the obligation to negotiate with publishers in good faith and ensure transparency, notes NIXsolutions. Specifically, the release of the Google Bard chatbot in 2023 involved training it on media data without notifying copyright holders or regulatory authorities. This action aligns with the broader trend among publishers seeking to restrict automated data collection for AI training without consent from copyright holders.

We’ll keep you updated on any further developments regarding this issue.