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Google News Germany

Germany rules search engines will pay royalties to publishers for showing news extracts in results


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

March 3, 2013 | 1 min read

The German parliament has passed a ruling that will force search engines to pay royalties to publishers for showing article extracts in their search results.

Clarifications, however, are still needed as the rule exempts individual words or "single words or small text passages" although it does not state how short a passage has to be to be royalty-free.

The ruling means that search engines, such as Google, may decide to remove all German news publications from is search results if the passage needs to be shorter than a headline.

Google is, predictably, against such a law, which was passed with 293 votes to 243, and is expected to oppose the bill as it goes to upper-house approval.


Google’s spokesman in Germany, Ralf Bremer, said: “As a result of today’s vote, ancillary copyright in its most damaging form has been stopped.

“However, the best outcome for Germany would be no new legislation because it threatens innovation, particularly for start-ups. It’s also not necessary because publishers and internet companies can innovate together, just as Google has done in many other countries.”

Google News Germany

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