Google hits back against German copyright law

Nov 27, 2012
Google launched an Internet campaign in Germany on Tuesday aiming to drum up public support against a proposed law that would force the search engine to pay publishers for content offered on the site.

Google launched an Internet campaign in Germany on Tuesday aiming to drum up public support against a proposed law that would force the search engine to pay publishers for content offered on the site.

The one-minute Internet video, entitled "defend your net", shows consumers using the search engine to find what they want on the web.

"For more than 10 years, you have been able to find the things that move you. A planned law will now change that," the firm says in the video.

"Do you want that to happen? Get involved," ends the message, offering users the possibility to sign an against the law, due to be debated in the Bundestag lower on Thursday.

The draft law—dubbed the "Lex Google" as the giant US search engine is seen as the main target—would force search engines to pay a fee to publishers when click through to their content.

Demanded for many years by powerful media groups such as Axel Springer and Bertelsmann, which want to retain the copyright over their content, the is backed by Chancellor 's ruling coalition.

The media groups also argue that a user of "Google News" can simply read the short summaries offered on the front page to get his or her fix of the daily news, rather than clicking through to the paper concerned.

But the head of Google Germany, Stefan Tweraser, hit back, saying: "The majority of citizens have never heard of this draft law even though it could affect all Internet users in Germany."

Tweraser said the law would restrict the content citizens could access on the web and result in higher costs for companies.

However, Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger noted that consumers did have a choice.

"There are other search engines than Google," she told business daily Handelsblatt in its Wednesday edition.

France is also pushing to compensate media websites.

Explore further: Tracking your digital fingerprint online raises privacy issues

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google threatens to drop links to French media

Oct 18, 2012

Google has threatened to exclude French media sites from its search results if France implements a proposed law forcing search engines to pay for content, according to a letter obtained by AFP.

Google chief to meet French president amid pay row

Oct 27, 2012

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt will meet with French President Francois Hollande on Monday as the Internet giant wrangles with Paris over a bill that would force search engines to pay for content, ...

France eyes 'Google Tax' for French websites

Oct 29, 2012

(AP)—French President Francois Hollande is considering a pushing for a new tax that would see search engines such as Google have to pay each time they use content from French media.

Recommended for you

Scalping can raise ticket prices

Jul 25, 2014

Scalping gets a bad rap. For years, artists and concert promoters have stigmatized ticket resale as a practice that unfairly hurts their own sales and forces fans to pay exorbitant prices for tickets to sold-out concerts. ...

User comments : 0