• 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
The Local List
Eight expat groups to save you in Germany
Photo: Jan Perlich/Munich RFC

Eight expat groups to save you in Germany

Think you're the only English speaker in your town or region? Think again! The Local List this week runs through eight of the best expat groups and clubs in Germany. READ  

Victims of GDR regime get benefit boost
Former GDR political prisoners Hartmut (l) and Gerda Stachowitz in a East Berlin prison which has stood empty for 20 years. Photo: DPA

Victims of GDR regime get benefit boost

Benefit payments to former political prisoners of ex-communist East Germany (GDR) will be raised to send an "important message" 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the government said on Wednesday. READ  

Cabinet agrees cap on city rent rises
Apartments in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees cap on city rent rises

Germany's cabinet agreed on Wednesday to cap ballooning property rents in high-demand urban neighbourhoods in a law set to come into force early next year. READ  

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find
Passengers are delayed at Tegel Airport. Photo: DPA

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find

UPDATE: The discovery of a US World War II bomb disrupted flights at Berlin’s Tegel Airport on Wednesday afternoon, with no flights taking off or landing for 30 minutes. The bomb has now been defused but later flights are still delayed. READ  

Refugee abuse guards 'nicknamed the SS'
A photo allegedly showing guards abusing one refugee. Photo: DPA/Police

Refugee abuse guards 'nicknamed the SS'

A group of guards who allegedly abused refugees in an asylum centre in western Germany were nicknamed “the SS” after Hitler's stormtroopers, according to one of their colleagues. Photos of guards abusing refugees have sparked a backlash in Germany against security firms. READ  

Nestle wins the food prize no one wants
First prize went to Nestle for its sugary baby food. Photo: Foodwatch

Nestle wins the food prize no one wants

A food watchdog presented Nestle with a prize to avoid on Wednesday for the cheekiest false advertising of the year. The runner-up was a chicken soup with no chicken in a vote of almost 160,000 Germans. READ  

Merkel's VIP jet set to fly soldiers home
One of the two A340 planes which are reserved for the Chancellor and government leaders. Photo: DPA

Merkel's VIP jet set to fly soldiers home

One of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s VIP jets is set to be used to ferry soldiers home who are stuck in Afghanistan, due to ongoing problems with the German military’s transport planes. READ  

German firms top EU lobbying list
Siemens was the highest ranked German company when it came to spending on EU lobbying, according to the register. Photo: DPA

German firms top EU lobbying list

Germany companies are among the biggest spenders when it comes to EU lobbying to influence decision makers in Brussels. There are more German lobbying organizations registered than from any other country in Europe but Belgium. READ  

City starts beer for alcoholics project
Photo: DPA

City starts beer for alcoholics project

A city in western Germany will start a controversial project on Wednesday to employ alcohol and drug addicts to clean the streets in return for beer, tobacco, food and small amounts of cash. READ  

Fault forces Germany to cut Eurofighters
A German Eurofighter. Photo: DPA

Fault forces Germany to cut Eurofighters

A manufacturing fault has been discovered in the troubled Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes, Germany's defence ministry said on Tuesday, announcing it was suspending deliveries of the sophisticated jets. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Munich
Bavarian independence becomes a reality... (online)
Photo: DPA/Police
National
'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Immigrants have created how many German jobs?
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Society
'Incest should be legal,' says ethics board
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
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

3,183
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd