Google is criticizing Germany's move to have anyone that links to a newspaper article pay for the privilege of doing so, if the link includes the title of the article and a small portion of the text, i.e. if it's a search result.
The new law affects Google the most, at first glance, but it will end up hurting the companies that are supposed to benefit from it.
That's because Google has no intention of paying a dime and will instead remove these results from its search page in Germany.
This way, everyone loses, Google has poorer search results, newspapers see fewer readers, users have a harder time finding what they want.
Google's Matt Brittin, VP of Northern and Central Europe, compared
the new law to "putting up a big sign saying 'we don’t understand the Internet'."
The law, which covers "ancillary copyright," a concept that stretches the limits of what copyright is supposed to do and is supposed to be, is meant to provide a new revenue source for newspapers and similar old media companies.
The fact that they're finding it difficult to survive and adapt to the new conditions, apparently, isn't a sign that maybe it's time to change, it's a sign that they need more help from the government and that companies that are success should be responsible for feeding everyone else.
Google's Brittin believes there's ample opportunity for publishers to make money online. They may not be able to get the same kind of margins they used to, but that's because they're not providing the same services as before.
Few people care to remember, but newspapers never survived on subscriber revenue alone. Advertising made up a huge chunk of revenue, particularly local ads. As these moved online, revenue dwindled. But instead of these publishers following the revenue source online, they believe their competitors, Google & co., should be responsible for their well-being.