PARIS -- Google has signed a deal with a group of French publishers paving the way for the internet giant to make digital copyright payments for online news content.
Google has already negotiated a few individual payment deals with some French news publishers such as national daily paper Le Monde and weekly magazine l'Obs.
Google had initially balked at paying for news, saying new companies benefited from the millions of readers it sends to their websites. But last year an appeals court ordered the company to open talks with publishers.
Under the framework agreement, payments will be based on criteria such as the amount published daily and monthly internet traffic.
Google did not spell out how much money would be paid to the group's members.
News companies had pushed for the EU copyright reform amid worries that quality journalism is declining as ad revenue gets siphoned off by the digital giants.