• Germany edition
 
Google searches for web copyright bill opponents
Photo: DPA

Google searches for web copyright bill opponents

Published: 27 Nov 2012 11:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Nov 2012 14:40 GMT+01:00

In the biggest lobbying effort to change a bill ever undertaken by the company in Germany, Google is warning on its German site that ancillary copyright (Leistungsschutzrecht) threatens web users' access to information.

"Ancillary copyright means less information for citizens and higher costs for companies," said Google Germany head Stefan Tweraser.

"Searching and finding − a fundamental function of the internet − would be distorted by ancillary copyright."

Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition has proposed implementing a Leistungsschutzrecht law to ensure press publishers are fairly compensated for their content, for example, when a short summary of a news article appears on search engines or news aggregators.

But critics say the law would merely amount to a "Google Tax" to support beleaguered publishers unable to cope with the disruptive nature of the internet.

The Google campaign is an attempt influence the public debate ahead of the bill's first reading in parliament this Thursday. Along with a special page at www.google.de/campaigns/deinnetz/, Google has put the issue on its main German search page and YouTube.

The web giant has even created an "MP Map" with public contact information for German parliamentarians, so opponents of the Leistungsschutzrecht bill can contact their local representative.

"We ask internet users to fight for the ability to find what they search for in the future," said Tweraser. "We hope the German Bundestag will reject this draft legislation."

But Peter Beyer, an MP from Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, attacked the initiative.

"I find this gigantic effort by Google completely overdone," he told the WAZ newspaper group. "Google has an immense economic power that it is uses for this campaign."

The lobby effort marks a new approach in Google's battle to win hearts and minds in Germany, where the company has often run into public and official opposition to some of its core offerings.

Whereas hundreds of thousands of Germans opted to have their residences blurred on Google's Street View mapping service, a row with Germany's musical royalties authority GEMA keeps German users from seeing countless videos on YouTube – which is owned by Google.

DPA/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:21 November 27, 2012 by chicagolive
Actually and this is one of those rare times I defend Googles practices lately. I do get to news quicker when Google provides a small except of a article. On this one they are right it will only hurt the publishers most especially the small ones you would not normally generate foot traffic. Also I want to say SCREW GEMA freakin mafia they should be banned.
13:39 November 27, 2012 by raandy
This is a step in the direction of internet control.

Hopefully her in Germany this will not precipitate to the level GEMA has.
09:37 November 28, 2012 by authun
I support Google on this but am disappointed with their petition form: No indication/promise that they will not collect and/or hand on one's personal information. Or is it just due to (typical German) sloppy, incomplete user interface development from the Googlers here?
10:12 November 28, 2012 by pepsionice
Only a moment of pondering....but if I were Google....I'd take every single German address under .de, and just show them as text only during searches.....no more than five words max. Let them get a dose of what they desire. Businesses will quickly wise up and tell the government to go and find someone else to screw with.
11:47 November 28, 2012 by michael4096
Serious authors should worry a lot about this. Internet search is the best shop window ever invented for them but frightening the search sites with ill-defined rules and legal threats will simply remove that avenue for promotion leaving them tighter in the arms of the publishers.

Apart from a few publishers, the only winners here will be lawyers.
20:31 December 22, 2012 by coffeelover
Sounds like the newspaper lobby at work here. Sad to see newspapers go out of business all the time, but time still marches on, they can do what a lot of newspapers do in the U.S. and show just 1 paragraph of the story when you click on it from ANY search engine, then demand money to "subscribe" to read unlimited online version of the whole newspaper. Yea, I think that is a failed business model. If I were GOOGLE, I would not show any link to a news site demanding a royalty, or tax to show related search content, this would pretty much kill any business that demands it. I thought us Germans were smarter than this suicidal greedy legislation indicates.
Today's headlines
Merkel promises help for Liberia in Ebola fight
A man walks past an Ebola information mural in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: DPA

Merkel promises help for Liberia in Ebola fight

Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised that Germany will send help to Liberia to tackle the Ebola crisis in response to a personal appeal by the country's president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. READ  

Cabinet clamps down on child image possession
Justice Minister Heiko Maas. Photo: DPA

Cabinet clamps down on child image possession

People caught in possession of indecent images of children will face tougher prison sentences, the government announced on Wednesday. READ  

The Local List
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again

Ten German words you'll never want to hear again

There are some German words which we'd rather were never invented. From the almost unpronounceable to the sheer pointless, The Local List has identified ten of the worst words in the German language. Do you agree? READ  

Investigators offer $30m reward for MH17 clues
Investigators at the MH17 crash site. Photo: DPA

Investigators offer $30m reward for MH17 clues

Anonymous backers have armed a German private detective with a $30-million war chest to find out who shot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine. READ  

13,000 police will catch speeders on Thursday
This sight will be familiar to drivers on Thursday. Photo: DPA

13,000 police will catch speeders on Thursday

UPDATE: Drivers across Germany will be on the lookout for police holding radar guns on Thursday, as 13,000 officers take to the streets to crack down on speeding. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest traditions
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest traditions

The world's biggest beer festival opens in Munich on Saturday. Running until October 5th, Oktoberfest is expected to attract more than six million visitors, drinking seven million litres of beer. Here's the first of The Local's four-part guide to the festival, starting with leathery traditions. READ  

Climber, 77, falls 80 metres to his death
The Alps near Innsbruck. Photo: DPA

Climber, 77, falls 80 metres to his death

A 77-year-old German climber fell 80 metres to his death in an Alpine ravine on Tuesday. READ  

State leader defends 'Russia Day'
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state premier Erwin Sellering is a big fan of Russia. Photo: DPA

State leader defends 'Russia Day'

The leader of a state in eastern Germany is not letting the worst crisis between Russia and Europe since the Cold War get in the way of his plans to celebrate "Russia Day", despite critical voices calling him a "Putin sympathizer". READ  

Champions League
Borussia Dortmund outgun Arsenal in opener
Dortmund players celebrate at the final whistle. Photo: DPA

Borussia Dortmund outgun Arsenal in opener

Italian striker Ciro Immobile scored his first goal for Borussia Dortmund as the German side produced a dominant performance to outclass Arsenal 2-0 in their Champions League opening group game in Dortmund on Tuesday. READ  

German Muslims protest against extremism
Muslim Coordination Council spokesman Ali Kizilkazya speaking in Berlin on Tuesday. Photo:DPA

German Muslims protest against extremism

The biggest Muslim faith organizations in Germany will hold a nationwide demonstration for tolerance and peace and against all types of extremism on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: DPA
Tech
Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Politics
These men want to be the next mayor of Berlin
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Berlin spy station sees tourism boom
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: DPA
Politics
Are Germans right to want cooler relations with USA?
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Photo: Facebook
National
Bavarian waiter breaks beer-carrying record
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,325
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd