Germany votes that Google can display snippets of news without paying

Mar 1, 2013
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In a world where news has increasingly gone digital and newspapers are suffering, publishers are arguing that Google and various news aggregating websites should have to fork over cash for the excerpts they show of various websites' content. Google disagrees, saying that by displaying excerpts to news pieces, the company is actually generating traffic for the publishers' websites.

The matter was settled by the German parliament house Bundestag, which voted 293 in favor over 243 of the bill. If Google wants to publish more than an excerpt, the size of which doesn't appear to have been defined by the bill, it will have to pay a fee. Google has been and still is in opposition to this, just as it has been with the similar issue going on in France, having stated:

"As a result of today’s vote, ancillary copyright in its most damaging form has been stopped. However, the best outcome for Germany would be no new legislation because it threatens innovation, particularly for start-ups. It’s also not necessary because publishers and Internet companies can innovate together, just as Google has done in many other countries."

Last October, Google threatened to exclude French media websites from search results in response to a proposed French law that would make it pay for the content it displayed. It had stated that such a law both threatened the company and would be harmful to the Internet in general. This was followed by an agreement betwen Google and French media sites to create a $78 million fund for digital publishing, as well as agreement on Google's part to help increase ad sales.

[via Bloomberg]


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