Google battles German law forcing firm to pay newspapers for using articles

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 30, 2012 10:00 hrs

Google is dealing with new laws in Germany that would force the Internet search giant to pay newspaper publishers for using snippets of articles in its news service.

Google mounted a public campaign ahead of a first vote on the proposed legislation on the Bundestag, calling on ordinary Germans to "defend your web".

Google claims that by forcing search engines to pay publishers when people click through to articles, the German government could cut its citizens off from vital information, the Telegraph reports.

"Such a law would hit every Internet user in Germany," said Google Germany chief Stefan Tweraser.

The proposals would effectively extend copyright so Google would pay to index and link to newspaper and magazine material on Google News.

"An ancillary copyright means less information for consumers and higher costs for companies," Tweraser said.

According to the paper, Google argues that it currently provides a free service to publishers by delivering web traffic to their websites.

Publishers, however, calim that Google makes serious money by harvesting snippets of their content and serving up advertising next to it on Google News, and that they are entitled to a share. (ANI)

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