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Germans will not copy French Google deal
Photo: DPA

Germans will not copy French Google deal

Published: 04 Feb 2013 08:08 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Feb 2013 08:08 GMT+01:00

German newspapers have rejected the idea of copying the agreement made last week between their French counterparts and the internet giant Google over royalties.

The German association of newspaper publishers (BDZV) said the French agreement did have some positive points. The major of these was that it was established and accepted "that the aggregation of content from third parties as a business model costs them money," said Anja Pasquay, BDZV spokeswoman on Sunday.

But she said a drawback was that the French solution only referred to Google. "The publishers there have no legal recourse against other aggregators who operate in the same fashion - or those who will do so in the future," she said.

"The threat of a legal solution is thus missing - the publishers can in the future only hope for success via negotiation," Pasquay said.

Google agreed last week to set up a €60 million fund in France which will pay for innovation projects for digital publishing, while also kicking off partnerships with publishers to increase their online revenue.

"There's been a global event ... the conclusion of a deal between Google and a news media grouping that was able to unite to negotiate," France's President Francois Hollande said on Friday as French press representatives signed the deal with Google chairman Eric Schmidt at the presidential palace.

"France is proud to have reached this agreement with Google, the first of its kind in the world," he added.

The deal follows two months of mediation with French news publishers unhappy their websites were getting none of the advertising revenue Google earned from sending search clients to their news content.

The German government wants to set up a law so that news aggregators which publish content created by publishers have to pay for what they use - something which Google has steadfastly opposed.

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:30 February 4, 2013 by pepsionice
I will predict the outcome on this. Google will finally say enough and wipe them completely from existence. No German newspaper will be seen through Google's search engine, period. The Germans will be all happy. But as the weeks and months go by....the newspapers realize that now even fewer people have an interest in them, and their subscription base is still going down. After three years of this lousy atmosphere, they will approach Google to put them back into the search engine. Google will refuse unless the Germans pay them a hundred million Euro. Eventually, the German government will pay the cost of this, and everyone is happy....at least for a couple of months.
10:43 February 4, 2013 by charlenej
Is this something that is only going to affect German publications? This isn't like GEMA, is it? The rest of us will still be able to read our own home country newspapers online, right?
11:48 February 4, 2013 by pepsionice
This is a simple deal. All newspapers are losing viewers....worldwide. The newspapers have kind of screwed themselves by putting content for ten or more years...on-line....free. Very few put their content behind a pay-per-view wall. Imagine your mechanic putting repair instructions up on his web site, and then complaining about fewer customers coming to his garage.

So the German papers want a simple fix....just make Google pay. Google says there's two fixes....either put your majority of your content (everything after the third line of a story) behind a pay-wall, or put up more advertising on your own newspaper site.

When we reach a point where it looks dismal for Google...they will simply remove the papers entirely, and it'll shock everyone how quickly viewers just skip the papers entirely. At least half the German papers in existence today....probably will not exist in ten years....unless something dramatic occurs with the business model. The same is true with most American papers as well.
12:01 February 4, 2013 by michael4096
I don't find this so negative. Both sides seem to agree about the fundamentals but the difference seems to be 'flat rate vs pay-by-use' - a relatively minor problem. Otherwise, the only question is whether Germany becomes the first country with a general structure mandated for all googles rather than France's agreements with internet companies one-by-one.
13:40 February 4, 2013 by mitanni
What that means is that governmentally blessed publishers can continue to steal with impunity from other news sources, but get special rights themselves. And don't believe for a moment that this is going to stop with this law. Publishers could get this result with a simple robots.txt file already. They are aiming for more with this.
16:28 February 4, 2013 by storymann
I think Google will win, it puts circulation down, not up, it is a fair use, Google is more than capable of creating alternative online news papers if it so wished, and if it does it will torpedo the circulations of very large numbers of the international MSM. I dont buy papers for their op-eds, comment pages, . This kind of extortion has been tried in England, US, Brazil and dosn't work anywhere.

This is actually the deceptive first stage in a two-part strategy to simply force Google to subsidize newspapers. First they pass laws to make payment for use of the content mandatory. Then, when Google chooses not to use their content at the price they set (which Google will), they will use EU antitrust law to try to force Google to use it and pay them.

Basically, the German newspapers are demanding a subsidy from Google on the grounds that Google has money and they want it. If they were really being protective of their content, they would simply use any of the various means available to remove themselves from Google News.
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