German news sites opt for Google exposure for now (Update)

Aug 01, 2013 by Frank Jordans

Major German publishers gave Google permission to keep using their content on its news page as tighter online copyright rules came into force Thursday. However, they insisted that their dispute with the search giant over payment for content wasn't over.

Earlier this year Google said it would only display material from German publishers who "opt in" to have free snippets appear on Google News. The move came after German lawmakers passed a publisher-backed copyright law covering how news aggregators such as Google show other companies' content.

Internet firms have warned that the law amounts to a tax on search engines that could backfire against publishers hoping to attract readers at a time when the circulation of printed papers is falling.

Axel Springer AG—publisher of the mass-circulation tabloid Bild and national daily Die Welt—said the decision to opt into Google News was a temporary measure while the company lays the legal and technical groundwork to charge aggregators for their use of its material.

The publisher's approval to display snippets from its sites could be revoked at any time and occurred "without accepting Google's one-sided conditions," spokesman Hendrik Lange said.

Google argues that its news page is the equivalent of a digital newspaper kiosk where readers can browse before they click on a link that takes them to the original publisher's site. The Palo Alto, California-based company has said it won't pay for showing the snippets and believes the law is on its side.

"Google News is an important platform for publishers and users alike to inform and be informed through a broad variety of sources," said Kay Oberbeck, a spokesman for Google in Germany.

"We will keep working together with publishers to support them in making the most out of their digital content," he added, noting that hundreds of publishers had given Google their consent.

Other major German news sites such as Spiegel Online and Zeit Online were also still available Thursday.

But one of Germany's oldest online news sites said it was breaking with Google. Rhein-Zeitung, based in the western city of Koblenz, declined to opt in to Google News as the new law came into effect, saying it had decided to stop "giving away" its own material online for free.

Explore further: Facebook goes retro with 'Rooms' chat app

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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.

German Parliament OKs watered-down copyright law

Mar 01, 2013

A bill broadening copyright protections for material used on the Internet has been approved by Germany's lower house of Parliament—but without provisions that worried Google and other search engines.

Google to set up $82M fund for French publishers

Feb 01, 2013

Google will help French news organizations increase their online advertising revenue and also set up a €60 million ($82 million) fund to finance digital publishing innovation, settling a dispute over whether the Internet ...

Germany's top-selling tabloid to introduce paywall

May 27, 2013

Europe's top-selling newspaper said Monday it will introduce a paywall for part of its online offerings starting next month. Main news stories will remain free of charge online, but a subscription will be ...

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.

Recommended for you

Facebook goes retro with 'Rooms' chat app

12 hours ago

Facebook on Thursday released an application that lets people create virtual "rooms" to chat about whatever they wish using any name they would like.

Some online shoppers pay more than others, study shows

13 hours ago

Internet users regularly receive all kinds of personalized content, from Google search results to product recommendations on Amazon. This is thanks to the complex algorithms that produce results based on users' profiles and ...

Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

Oct 22, 2014

Twitter on Wednesday set out to weave itself into mobile applications with a free "Fabric" platform to help developers build better programs and make more money.

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

Oct 22, 2014

Google is introducing an application designed to make it easier for its Gmail users to find and manage important information that can often become buried in their inboxes.

User comments : 0