Germany Wants Google to Pay for Sending Readers to Newspaper Sites

Google is obviously against the proposed law which it says would benefit no one

By on August 21st, 2012 17:31 GMT

Germany hasn't been the place for the most thought out copyright laws or court decisions. Continuing in that long tradition that has YouTube block all music videos in the country, news publishers there are close to achieving what others can only dream of, get people to pay for sending traffic their way.

More specifically, they want Google to pay them for the privilege of using headlines and text snippets in search results. Results which send people to the paper's site, people who click on ads, ads which generate money.

Of course, the publishers are fine with the traffic they get, but they'd reckon it would be even better if, besides the readers, Google would pay as well.

In fact, the publishers didn't have just Google in mind, the first draft of the law would have had everyone pay for anything that involved their work in a commercial setting. The broad reach of the law had everyone up in arms so a second draft was cooked up that targeted Google, well search engines and probably aggregators, specifically.

Google is not happy about it, of course, and it's easy to see why, the law makes no sense at all. In the publisher's ideal world, everyone would pay them for the great service they do to society.

In the real world, Google would simply remove results which it would have to pay for from the search results. This would mean that Google would suffer, since it would be offering lower quality results, the users would suffer, for the same reasons, but most of all, the publishers would suffer by having a lot less people come their way.

"Nobody sees a real reason why this should be implemented," Google's Kay Oberbeck said. “It’s really harmful, not just for users who wouldn’t find as much information as they find now, but such a law is also not justified for economic reasons or judicial reasons," he added. He's also got a post in German with more details.

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