Google is sounding a warning klaxon about a proposed law change in Germany which aims to strengthen copyright law for press publishers by requiring search engines and online news aggregators to pay a royalty to display snippets of copyrighted text — such as the first paragraph of an article displayed within a Google News search. If the ancillary copyright law passes, fines would be imposed for unlicensed use of publishers’ snippets.

The draft ancillary copyright law (online here in German) gets an expert hearing in a legal committee today, ahead of the second reading (German law requires three readings before a law can be passed), and is backed by the majority of the governing coalition — having being included in the coalition agreement between the Christian Democratic Union and the Free Democratic Party.

Currently displaying text snippets is free and legal in Germany so Google argues that the…

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About rianstefan

My practical approach based on experience is to create a website for real Internet users, not for search engine spiders.
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