[A2k] Germany Wants To Charge Google For News Snippets By Mathew J. Schwartz

Manon Ress manon.ress at keionline.org
Wed Aug 22 09:53:01 PDT 2012

Germany Wants To Charge Google For News Snippets
Legislation proposed by the German government would create a new type
of copyright requiring any online or offline use of publishers'
content to be compensated. Cue debate.

By Mathew J. Schwartz InformationWeek
August 22, 2012 09:06 AM


Are search engines and other news-aggregation services covered by
fair-use legal concepts, allowing them to return news headlines,
summaries, or thumbnails of related images to people surfing the Web?
Or should news aggregation sites, which so often sell advertising that
surrounds news snippets, share their advertising revenue with
publishers, thus helping to keep online media outlets healthy?

More than a decade after the launch of Google, and years after the
company signed content-usage agreements with Agence France-Presse,
Associated Press, and Belgian newspaper group Copiepresse to
settle--or avert--lawsuits relating to its use of headlines, story
summaries, and images, many people might think that such questions had
been long settled. But in fact, related debates continue.

One of the most recent challenges to the use of news content comes
from the German government, which earlier this year announced that it
would be introducing legislation to create a new type of copyright
that would require sites such as Google to pay a fee to publishers for
any content--even small snippets--that they provide via their site.
The fees would be collected by a new clearinghouse, then distributed
to publishers.

As noted by The New York Times, however, Google doesn't place
advertising on its German news aggregation pages.

Regardless, the first draft amendment of the German legislation,
introduced in June, would require any use of publishers'
material--either in the online or offline realm--to be compensated.
"The example that was given at the hearing was: a bank employee reads
his morning newspaper online and sees something about the steel
industry, and then advises his clients to invest in certain markets,"
Mathias Schindler, who helped found Wikimedia Deutschland, told Al

"The publishers argued that the bank consultant was only able to
advise his clients because of the journalistic work in the published
article," said Schindler, who's been attending recent government
hearings into the proposed copyright amendments. "So that means the
publisher deserves a fair share of any money made from that scenario.
This was the proposal from the start."
end of quote

More here:

Manon Anne Ress
Knowledge Ecology International
1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009 USA
manon.ress at keionline.org

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