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German Government Wants Google To Pay For the Right To Link To News Sites

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the can't-link-this dept.

Google 186

First time accepted submitter presroi writes "Al Jazeera is reporting on the current state of plans by the German government to amend the national copyright law. The so-called 'Leistungsschutzrecht' (neighboring right) for publishers is introducing the right for press publishers to demand financial compensation if a company such as Google wants to link to their web site. Since the New York Times reported on this issue in March this year, two draft bills have been released by the Minister of Justice and have triggered strong criticism from the entire political spectrum in Germany, companies and activist bloggers.(Full disclosure: I am being quoted by Al Jazeera in this article)"

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Say what? (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | about 2 years ago | (#41065035)

If Google have to pay to index their sites, the news sites are the ones missing out. Unless Google are force to index them and also forced to pay, but that would in essence be a tax against a single company.

Re:Say what? (2, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#41065057)

The news sites are miffed because search engines preview their pages in the search results, and the users just skim the results instead of clicking the links.

Re:Say what? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065071)

They can ask Google to not index them.

captcha: retard

Re:Say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065439)

Eben better, they could ask to be indexed but have no excerpt. But they need Google...

If only we could do that automated (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065845)

They can ask Google to not index them.

If only we had some way of doing that automatically per site?
I propose a file named "robots.txt" file to be placed in a http server's root,
in which is some parsable description that describes what web crawlers are and aren't allowed to access.

It's not like we have anything like this right now... right?

Re:If only we could do that automated (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41066045)

Mod parent up: Ironic! Mod publisher down: Lazy!

Re:Say what? (5, Insightful)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about 2 years ago | (#41065075)

and the users just skim the results instead of clicking the links.

Yes, because I didnt find anything of interest during the skimming.

Re:Say what? (5, Interesting)

kasperd (592156) | about 2 years ago | (#41065709)

Yes, because I didn't find anything of interest during the skimming.

But users who don't find anything of interest in the article are supposed to click on the ads, which the news site put on the page. Every time a user doesn't go to the article because it isn't interesting, the news site is losing ad revenue. I don't know if they think they were entitled to that ad revenue in the first place, but I'm sure they can find a way to argue, that they were.

Re:Say what? (4, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41065765)

I hope this new law sets a fixed, mandatory price for Google to pay per link.

That way they can't back down or renegotiate with Google when they see how stupid they've been.

Re:Say what? (3, Insightful)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 2 years ago | (#41066269)

Wait... your telling me that if I want people to click on a link I need to produce a quality article? That's crazy talk.

Re:Say what? (0)

mug funky (910186) | about 2 years ago | (#41065095)

a solution to that is showing the link with nothing else, but a casual surfer will just look to the next article that is a little more permissive (even if it's 9gag or some such).

i can understand the concern that google effectively controls the internet, but hell, that's been the situation since search engines were introduced. a better engine will eventually replace google if the ads become too much to bear (they are getting that way already - ad links coming up in the address bar before the partial typing of the url you actually want, in spite of the fact that Chrome knows well what sites you go to most often).

Re:Say what? (5, Insightful)

mug funky (910186) | about 2 years ago | (#41065107)

additionally, previewing articles in this manner can be seen as an attempt to improve search quality - news outlets are not averse to having a ridiculously inflammatory headline that has little or no relation to the article within - all to game search engines. they can't have it both ways.

Re:Say what? (0)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 years ago | (#41065911)

"news outlets are not averse to having a ridiculously inflammatory headline"

It has a name: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_Law_of_Headlines [wikipedia.org]

"Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word 'no'".

Re:Say what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065133)

There has been one case I remember, where a foto artist search engine optimized her page and afterwards tried to sue Google for showing image results. This has been dismissed by the courts, but it shows the mindset.

Re:Say what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065105)

So they'll end up with Google providing preview only those for those sites who agree to it. For free. Which probably means that all the traffic will go to those sites since people have a chance to see that it's a story they're interested in.

--
I don't usually reply to gweihir (88907) either. So there.

Re:Say what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065285)

I hope Google stops including previews for any sites that request Google to stop.

Google should also add a feature so that their users can choose to easily exclude such sites from their personal search results.

Re:Say what? (5, Informative)

aaron552 (1621603) | about 2 years ago | (#41065599)

They already do. It's called robots.txt

Re:Say what? (1)

Tjebbe (36955) | about 2 years ago | (#41065873)

I think GP meant the other way around, like adblock, but for google search results. You can already do it in single searches, by adding -site:, but not automatically for every search afaik.

If I were google I'd simple remove their results altogether, and wave these proposals around the courtroom when the inevitable lawsuits come.

Re:Say what? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41065747)

The news sites are miffed because search engines preview their pages in the search results, and the users just skim the results instead of clicking the links.

...and the reason they can't make the preview interesting enough for me to want to click it is...?

Re:Say what? (5, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#41065225)

Unless Google are force to index them and also forced to pay, but that would in essence be a tax against a single company.

Yep, that's what they want.

If those sites just wanted Google to stop indexind their pages, a robots.txt would be enough.

Honi soit qui mal y pense.

Re:Say what? (2)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 2 years ago | (#41065771)

If those sites just wanted Google to stop indexind their pages, a robots.txt would be enough.

They don't want them to stop, they want them to pay.
This will never pass, of course. Google and others would simply stop indexing them, making them nearly invisible. Who wants that?

Re:Say what? (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#41065971)

money is only half of what those publishers want. The other half is forcing Google to list their pages using anti-trust laws. That may be possible as Google is big enough to be a de-facto monopoly (that's ok under EU law as it was achieved without unfair means. It's using that position to activly suppress competition that not allowed. De-listing other sites may be seen as such an unfair attack, as it is not far fetched to see Google News as a direct competitor to other news sites as newspapers)

Still more that Google can do... (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 2 years ago | (#41066307)

That doesn't necessarily stop Google. They could still list the sites as required by the courts, just give them a weight of .00000001, meaning they're on the last page(except for very specific searches), and only listed as a link, no text, so very few people would click on them anyways.

Opt-in vs Opt-out (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 2 years ago | (#41065789)

If those sites just wanted Google to stop indexind their pages, a robots.txt would be enough.

Normally, slashdot readers are all for opt-in as compared to opt-out. Why is it different here?

Re:Opt-in vs Opt-out (4, Insightful)

ColaMan (37550) | about 2 years ago | (#41065887)

Because operating a webserver is basically opting-in to being part of the World Wide Web.

Re:Opt-in vs Opt-out (5, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#41065943)

Because one can safely assume that being listed in Googles index is what website operaters want. The existance of all those black- white- grey- and donkey-hat SEOs supports that assumption.

But I partly agree, if someone would re-invent the internet and write specifications from scratch, opt-in should be the norm. But once again. THAT's NOT THE POINT here!

Google offered those publishers who are pushing for that law, to ignore their pages, so they wouldn't even have to opt-out, but the following outcry "Google threatens to unlist us!!!!" was even louder than the former one "Google indexes our pages without paying compensation"

This is NOT about indexing or being found by google news. Everybody wants to be indexed by Google!

They simply want money!

Re:Say what? (4, Funny)

jeti (105266) | about 2 years ago | (#41065375)

Congratulations. You identified the "???" before the "Profit!".

Re:Say what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065591)

"How DARE you direct readers to us, increasing our circulation and revenue, what do you think you are, some kind of search engine? Stop bringing us customers, this instant! We demand you direct them to some other business!"

Re:Say what? (1)

swilver (617741) | about 2 years ago | (#41065607)

Perhaps Google should start asking money to be included in search results, seems only fair.

Re:Say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065901)

It's amazing how "traditional" media companies struggle understanding the Internet.
After the failures of the recording and movie industries it seems to be printed media's turn.

Basically they're asking to be payed by a company that does free advertising for them, how stupid is that ?
It's like asking a sales rep to pay for the right to push products to consumers, or demanding a fee from someone who recommends your products to its entourage.

Not a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065043)

Google removes these sites from their results, and nobody ever visits them again. Sites die from lack of ad revenue. Ta Da!

Re:Not a problem (2)

aepurniet (995777) | about 2 years ago | (#41065135)

this doesnt seem like a good solution for the ailing news sites. murdoch has been beating this drum for a while in the US, and nobody is listening.

however, the sites producing content are not getting compensation for doing so, is this just a paradigm shift, or can something be done to protect some of their revenue?

Re:Not a problem (5, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#41065193)

Those previews are like movie trailers. If you can't get interested by the movie trailers, no one will get you to watch the movie then, protecting revenue be pissed.

The case roots somewhat deeper. The Perlentaucher [perlentaucher.de] ("pearl diver") site was compiling links to interesting articles and providing excerpts from them, and got sued for copyright infringment because the excerpts were too verbose for some of the original publishers. Perlentaucher prevailed, the courts found the excerpts to be within the "quoting" limits. So now the publishers want to get compensated for those excerpts, especially if they are automatically generated like Google's link results.

Re:Not a problem (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 years ago | (#41065201)

They could produce articles that are worth reading and thus get ad revenue when people go to read the full article. Or they can continue reporting whatever policy Murdoch wants to push that day.

Re:Not a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065327)

Murdoch pushes policy in Germany? Oh, you must be one of those people who read an article and instantly forget that there are other places in the world outside of your context, and that not everything that has an impact on your life and the companies within it has an impact on companies thousands of miles away.

Re:Not a problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065455)

Murdoch pushes policy in Germany?

Yes. Sky Deutschland is owned by Murdoch and pushes Murdochs policy. (Germany's largest pay TV provider according to wikipedia.)

Oh, you must be one of those people who read an article and instantly forget that there are other places in the world outside of your context

And you must be one of those people who criticise other people without having a clue of things outside of your context.

Re:Not a problem (5, Insightful)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about 2 years ago | (#41065541)

Murdoch pushes policy in Germany?

Yes. Sky Deutschland is owned by Murdoch and pushes Murdochs policy. (Germany's largest pay TV provider according to wikipedia.)

That's true.
But your missing one relevant point: Pay TV doesn't mean shit in Germany.
Murdoch can influence more or less nothing here.

But we have or own 'Murdochs': The Axel Springer AG is News Corp. in German.

Re:Not a problem (0)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 years ago | (#41065663)

I wasn't aware that Murdoch limits his political interference to only one location. How foolish of me to assume that Murdoch has his fingers in lots of pies and operates in more than one country at a time.

By the way, I live in the UK and Germany is not "thousands of miles away".

Idiot!

Re:Not a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065801)

They could produce articles that are worth reading and thus get ad revenue

Then again, journalists are subject to some moral and we as readers don't want everything to be made into a sensation. At least I don't want that. You cannot spin every event into a watergate sensationalist story. More importantly, you shouldn't!

Re:Not a problem (2)

awrowe (1110817) | about 2 years ago | (#41065931)

Yet still they try, which is why the GP is correct. Instead of focusing on the bullshit celebrity news and presenting an old man's bladder infection as worthy of "breaking news", perhaps the journalists should start thinking about presenting relevant facts in a neutral tone and allowing readers to form their own opinion. You know, like real journalists.

Re:Not a problem (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41065499)

And that's why the whole thing is stupid. Any news site that chooses to charge just won't get indexed. If they want that result, they can already get it with robots.txt without wasting time and money creating a law.

Re:Not a problem (5, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#41065253)

Google removes those sites from their results, removed page sues because of anti-trust unfair competition.

It's not about beeing indexed or not. it's about getting money from Google cause Google has money. And with all that money lying around, there has to be a way to get some of it.

Re:Not a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065363)

There is, Google pays me handsomely (Well, If you really liked little people you'd find it handsome. Really.) for the ads they get to put on my site. These people just want to get paid without actually doing anything for Google.

And no, 'letting' Google link to them is not something that benefits Google. People fight and cheat and hire special experts to get good ranking on Google. These companies saying Google should pay to list them is a lot like some fat guy in his mother's basement finding out that some super model said he was a nice guy, and trying to get her to pay him to say it again. Ass backwards, that's what it is.

I'm sure if this passes Google will laugh all the way to the delete button, and the German newspapers will lose a major chunk of their incoming traffic. In other words, I couldn't care less. Let them pass the law if they want, it'll backfire on them so hard that it'll be funny to watch. And we'll be able to watch, because the rest of the world will still be happily going on as if nothing happened.

Re:Not a problem (0)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about 2 years ago | (#41065395)

If they want to squeeze some money out of big multinational corporations in Europe, the first thing to do is banning unfair fiscal tricks such as the infamous "Dutch sandwich [wikipedia.org] ".

Re:Not a problem (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#41065451)

This time it's the news publishers who want to squeeze money from google, not an entity that would profit if that money dripped out as tax money.

In related news: banning those tricks isn't possible. They will stay possible as long as long as the involved countries profit from that too. With those tricks in place, those companies lieave little tax money in Ireland and the Netherlands. Without that, they would pay big tax money to some other country and none at all to Ireland and Netherlands.

So there is no incentive to change those policies.

Re:Not a problem (0)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about 2 years ago | (#41065979)

The EU could enforce a minimum sales tax. I can imagine the bill will have 25 votes in favor and 2 against.

Re:Not a problem (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#41066005)

Why should they vote in favour? The result would be those big companys paying their taxes in the US or Cayman Islands - not much to win for those 25. They'd rather had to stand in for the additional debts Ireland has to make to compensate for that "little" money Google left there as tax...

Re:Not a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065475)

Sure it can. It respects local laws, which take precedence over any EU "guidelines", therefore it will remove them from search. The laws might say Google is prohibited from indexing their news, but it doesn't tell Google HOW to do that. Paying them is one option, removing them completely is another.

In the mean time alternative sources will still be available, since I doubt ALL news sources are risking so much for this monumentally stupid idea.

I seem to remember in the US and UK far more powerful greedy idiots tried the same thing.

Re:Not a problem (0)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#41065293)

And Google loses market share because it doesn't have as good coverage of these sites as companies that are willing to share the revenue they generate.

Re:Not a problem (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 2 years ago | (#41065397)

Nope. News, unlike e.g. investigative journalism, are mostly fungible commodities.

Re:Not a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065423)

Nope. Those publishers'll demand ludicrious amounts that noone would vouluntarily pay.
What they want is laws that force Google (and every other search engine, of course) to:
- link to them,
- pay for the privilege,
- still not quote their article (well, maybe the headlines - if they ask nicely).

Why?
Because laws that force unwilling "customers" to pay for something they are then not even allowed to do is what other "intellectual property" owners have in Germany and publishers want a bigger piece of the action.
And of course because publishers are getting desperate as sale of printed product declines and their sites offer nothing people are willing to pay for. And online ads don't pay as much as the printed ones.

Up front payment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065083)

Will they be forced to pay up front if they are found to link to content; or simply remove sites which don't want their content indexed, with a payment charged if they fail to do so?

Backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065111)

Shouldn't this be the otherway around? They would never, ever, ever get any traffic if no search-engines were allowed to link to them without paying

Wrong reaction (1, Redundant)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#41065127)

TFA (well, the last one)

the new conservative-liberal German Government that was elected in late 2009 declared: “Press Publishers shall not be discriminated against other disseminators of copyright protected works [e.g. film or music producers]. Therefore we aim for the introduction of a neighbouring right for press publishers to increase the protection of press publications on the Internet.”

First... a weird thing: are the press publishers in the same league as the copyright protected works? I know that an US court allowed FauxNews the right to serve "creative fiction" as news, but I thought this should be rather an exception than the norm.

Second... now, I know that's a fool hope, but I cannot stop myself wishing that the discrimination (... which is a wrong thing, right?...) would have been resolved by lowering the rights of the film or music producers instead of increasing the rights of the news publishers.

Re:Wrong reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065167)

would have been resolved by lowering the rights of the film or music producers

Not going to happen anytime soon: their hands are stuck way too deep into our politicians' pockets.

Misleading summary (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065141)

The proposed law has nothing to do with linking to news site at all. The point is that the publishers are to be compensated if anyone takes parts of the article or the full text and displays them somewhere else. There is not even so much debate about the intention itself, I think it's only fair if you reprint significant parts of an article (and thereby deprive the original author of advertisement revenue or subscription fees), but what constitues a "significant part" of a news article? For example Google News usually shows the first few sentences under the link, is that a significant part? In my opinion it's not, but that is what the discussion is about.

In the original draft, even single sentences would have been regarded as "significant parts", but that would then also mean that you cannot quote from any news article anymore in any other publication, which would have significant negative side effects. So, what happens now is what happens in every democracy, someone drafts a bill, other people critisize it, and we have no clue yet what is going to happen in the end.

Re:Misleading summary (5, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41065183)

So, what happens now is what happens in every democracy, someone drafts a bill, other people critisize it, and we have no clue yet what is going to happen in the end.

Perhaps your democracy is not old enough to be operating optimally. In Westminster, it works like this:

1) One or more big businesses lobby government;

2) Government produces draft legislation to benefit these businesses, but including all sorts of bullshit in it too;

3) There is a "debate" in which the government "concedes" to removing all the bullshit that no-one was expecting to be included anyway;

4) The bill passes.

Re:Misleading summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065213)

Democracy in action... can you feel the tears of joy when you see this well-oiled machine working as intended?

Re:Misleading summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065403)

Yes, mostly anal tears, or ruptures to be more precise. We really need a big business producing lube so the government would start using it to benefit them.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

kill-1 (36256) | about 2 years ago | (#41066171)

In the original draft, even single sentences would have been regarded as "significant parts", but that would then also mean that you cannot quote from any news article anymore in any other publication, which would have significant negative side effects.

You could still quote articles. But that quote has to be embedded in another non-trivial work. Aggregation of news has never been quoting in the sense of German copyright law.

Re:Misleading summary (2)

swillden (191260) | about 2 years ago | (#41066423)

It seems like the simple solution (from Google's perspective) is still effectively what many posters are saying. If sites insist that Google pay them to include snippets in the search results, then Google should simply omit the snippets for those search results. Given the way people rely on snippets to give them an idea about whether or not the link is to what they're looking for, the result will be almost the same as if Google simply didn't link to them. Further, since Google, like all search engines, uses result clicks as a key signal to compute rankings, the snippet-less sites will quickly drop off the first page of results.

Yes, sadly, it is too much. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41065145)

Is it too much to ask that you know what the fuck you're talking about before drafting or considering a piece of legislation that affects said fucking whatever?

Re:Yes, sadly, it is too much. (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#41065207)

I'm sure they knew exactly as much as about it as the lobbyists for the publishers thought they should know.

Re:Yes, sadly, it is too much. (1)

Cigaes (714444) | about 2 years ago | (#41065399)

I am sure the German lawmakers know all about the workings of a search engine. And if they do not, they can ask advice to their French neighbours: I am sure they would be thrilled to explain how to use the OpenOffice firewall to prevent Google from indexing news sites.

Re:Yes, sadly, it is too much. (2)

Havenwar (867124) | about 2 years ago | (#41065443)

Yes. Requiring that the people in charge knows what they are talking about would limit who could be put in charge to intelligent and rational people, which is called elitism, and that's not socially acceptable. So it is indeed too much to ask.

However it is not too much to ask, in my opinion, that the drafter of any bills are held personally responsible for it. If say this bill passes and company A is suddenly pressing Google for X millions in compensation, Google should be able to sue the person drafting the bill, prompting a legal review by the highest legal court in the country. If the bill/law is found to be bad OR the drafter is found to have drafted it specifically to benefit the interests of companies/people they are personally involved with (like insider trading, except for law) then the law should be repealed, and the drafter should be held personally responsible for the X millions in compensation that Google would owe company A for the time the law was in effect.

That should make most politicians think twice about what they put their name on.

Re:Yes, sadly, it is too much. (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#41066287)

prompting a legal review by the highest legal court in the country. If the bill/law is found to be bad

I'm sorry, but how could a court possibly decide if a law is good or bad? That would make the Supreme Court into some kind of unelected super-parliament of nine deciding on their own whim what laws to keep and not. Yes, they can say if a law is constitutional or not but they don't form any opinion of whether that's good or bad, Congress has passed both the law and the constitution and the Supreme Court only make sure they're consistent. Despite all the flaws in the US election system, putting the democratically elected Congress at the mercy of an small circle of appointed-for-life Supreme Justices is a really, really bad idea.

the drafter is found to have drafted it specifically to benefit the interests of companies/people they are personally involved with (like insider trading, except for law) then the law should be repealed

Insider trading means using inside information, even if the lawmakers write laws for campaign contribution kickbacks that's not abuse of any privileged information. It's just a "if you scratch my back I'll scratch yours" arrangement that's both very common and in most cases completely legal.

Re:Yes, sadly, it is too much. (1)

Havenwar (867124) | about 2 years ago | (#41066371)

First off, you assume america here. I don't, maybe because I'm not american, maybe because the article is about Germany, maybe because the world is bigger than your little pond. However, repealing laws are indeed a normal part of the duties of the legal system in a country, or perhaps of the government in some cases. Either way it's an investigation that is handled on the highest levels of the legal system, since it's a decision that affects all lower parts of the system.

And yes, putting a democratically elected government at the mercy of a small circle of appointed-for-life whatevers is indeed a really bad idea, and either the system in place or the suggestion would have to have safeguards built in or be changed to account for such an unbalanced system. However in arguing that the government shouldn't be at the mercy of the courts you are basically saying that they are above the law, and unaccountable for their actions in running the country. That's ludicrous and there is absolutely nothing democratic about it. Accountability is one of the most basic ways to keep people in high positions honest. After all a politician is not only supposed to act by the letter of the law, but rather in the best interest of the people. All the people, not only those that voted for them.

If Google have to pay to index their sites, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065195)

www.meetuniversities.com

Hypocritical ... (1)

giorgist (1208992) | about 2 years ago | (#41065215)

There is robots.txt

You don't want Google to link to you, update your robots.txt. It is so simple ?! Those that do will be indexed, those that don't wont and it is business as usual or lack there off.

Re:Hypocritical ... (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#41065727)

They do want Google to link to them.

This is a service that makes Google money. They also want some of that money.

This again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065237)

Come on google. Just blacklist an entire country.

No users from there can use google anything. And you don't index anything in that country at all.
Lets see who needs the other more.

You'd only have to do it for a short time. And it would put a complete stop to this stupid shit once and for all.
The uproar would be glorious and epic!

Come on. Do it already!

Re:This again? (0)

JockTroll (996521) | about 2 years ago | (#41065589)

Are you crazy? The krauts would send Totenkopf Death Kommando "Sieg Heil" to Sergey Brin and Larry Page's houses to drum some needed Übermensches Weltannschaung in their thick non-Aryan heads. Gaszimmer Krematorium Bratwurst für alles!

Complete topic discussed, in German (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065255)

First of all: The so called "Leistungsschutzrecht" has already been cut back to become a "Lex Google", meaning it will (currently) only apply to Google, making it open to litigation (laws must not be tailored to one specific offender).

The whole thing is a farce. It's been a concerted effort of German media companies trying to bully others into paying compensation. Consequently, the initiators being media companies, you won't find much criticism in the media.

If you care to read some more about it, use google translate and go to:

http://www.stefan-niggemeier.de/blog/ein-kartell-nutzt-seine-macht-wie-die-verlage-fuer-das-leistungsschutzrecht-kaempfen

Re:Complete topic discussed, in German (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065449)

First of all: The so called "Leistungsschutzrecht" has already been cut back to become a "Lex Google", meaning it will (currently) only apply to Google

Why would such law apply only to Google? Google is not the only search engine out there. It is biggest and most popular - but there are many smaller ones. Altavista, bing, yahoo, ... Surely, such law would apply to smaller search sites too - at least if they're operating in Germany?

Re:Complete topic discussed, in German (1)

Larryish (1215510) | about 2 years ago | (#41066433)

1. move to germany

2. start shitty "online news" company

3. charge google for indexing some more kardashin tripe ???

4. profit!

2 years later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065257)

This just in, the majority of news websites have shutdown due to lack of traffic.

Bloody ignorance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065373)

If news sites DON'T want to be indexed, just let them put up a robots file. Oh wait, they changed their mind about wanting to be indexed now?

I'm confused (-1, Flamebait)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#41065393)

This story is about the German government, right? That's in Europe, isn't it? I thought everything in Europe was peaches and cream and enlightenment, and stuff we defined as "bad" only happened in the backwards old United States.

Help me out, Slashdot - what am I supposed to think now?

Re:I'm confused (3, Insightful)

gutnor (872759) | about 2 years ago | (#41065457)

There is plenty of stuff that are not working in EU as they do in the US, however /. is a US centric site and therefore focus on the not working part of the US and what is better outside. EU centric sites do the opposite.

Try to think for yourself. If you just want the warm feeling that the US is the best place in the world and nobody else does anything better, just open the TV news channel lined up with you existing opinion and shut down your critical thinking.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065699)

You're supposed to jump off the nearest tall building and hit the ground with your head.

By doing that you'd improve the average voter quality. Do your bit for your country.

Newspapers: the biggest freeloaders on the planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065585)

Newspapers' entire business model is to take other people's information, at the point where it is most valuable (it is new) and copy it everywhere, usually without paying the source.* I admire their hypocrisy.
.
* take today's front page news for example. Meles Zanawi dies: did every newspaper pay Zanawi's family for this lucrative information? Jesse Robredo's body is found. Did every newspaper pay the rescue teams for this profitable fact?

wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065587)

So, by doing this... google should un-index news sites... but then those sites would miss out on tons of free traffic, so they'll probably bitch about being unlisted... but Google can't possibly list them without being forced to pay... but if they unlist them, they might get into legal battles and sued...?

From the Clarification Department (5, Informative)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | about 2 years ago | (#41065635)

This is one of the most incomprehensible post summaries I've ever seen on Slashdot; it could have used a little TLC in the way of explanation.

So basically the German publishers are claiming that the current copyright law be amended to make any quote from an article, even the headline, subject to a copyright licensing fee. Under current law, the headline and opening sentences of an article are in the public domain. Linking itself is free; it's the snippet quoting that Google and other sites like to do that would cost money. However, it would have disastrous consequences for blogging and online journalism as a whole, not to mention search engines, as pretty much any web page that quotes a German article would be liable to pay a fee.

Reading the second article, it would appear that the second draft of the bill has already gotten to the point of compromise where nobody would be happy with the eventual outcome, including the publishers, so it will most likely stall or be shelved permanently. At this point, it's almost more a bullet dodged than actual news. Kudos on posting an article in which you're quoted, though.

On a side note, the original German term seems much less ambiguous than the British English "neighboring rights" or American English "related rights". "Leistungsschutzrecht" literally means"right to protection of effort".

Re:From the Clarification Department (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#41066139)

Slight correction: The whole of the article including first paragraph and headline is still under copyright protection and not public domain, but it may be used by others as part of fair use. (quoting in general is considered fair use)

Something else that gets lost in translation of "Leistungsschutzrecht", is that we're nottalking aboiut the authors rights, as the news and newspapers sites usually aren't the authors. What comes closest to the proposed law is the "sweat of the brow" construct, as we're talking about compiling and providing samples from pages that usually contain compilitions of texts themselves.

bad translation (5, Informative)

Tom (822) | about 2 years ago | (#41065651)

"Leistungsschutzrecht" has nothing to do with neighbours. The three words it is made off are Leistung which translates as "achievement, effort, performance", Schutz = "protection" and Recht = "right, law".

It plain and simple intends to protect the efforts of the newspapers. And it is highly controversial within Germany. Basically, our news and printing industry is what your movie and music industry are - strong lobby organisations buying special rights for themselves.

Re:bad translation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065847)

In "Leistungsschutzrecht", Leistung means "service" not achievement, effort of performance... It's not about sweating journalists...

It should protect the services offered by news agencies, etc...

Re:bad translation (4, Informative)

Ozan (176854) | about 2 years ago | (#41065915)

Why didn't you just google 'neighboring right' and see that it indeed is the term to use: http://itlaw.wikia.com/wiki/Neighboring_rights [wikia.com]

Insanity (1)

Meneth (872868) | about 2 years ago | (#41065759)

From the article:

The latest draft amendment proposes far less than what some German publishers sought from the beginning. Throughout the last three years that a neighbouring right has been under consideration in public hearings, the publishers have insisted that the use of its material for any commercial gain - both in the online and offline spheres - should be reflected with some recompense to them. "The example that was given at the hearing was: a bank employee reads his morning newspaper online and sees something about the steel industry, and then advises his clients to invest in certain markets," says Mathias Schindler of Wikimedia Deutschland, who has attended the hearings. "The publishers argued that the bank consultant was only able to advise his clients because of the journalistic work in the published article. So that means the publisher deserves a fair share of any money made from that scenario. This was the proposal from the start."

stop all links to Germany... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41065837)

Google should stop linking to any German sites for a few days to see what happens....

Tumbleweeds'll blow at one of the two sites anyway (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41065905)

This is a non-issue.

"Fair enough. We won't link to these sites."

Next government idiocy to deal with?

Ich Bin Ein Ber*loser* (1)

outsider007 (115534) | about 2 years ago | (#41065997)

That's all I have to say.

Sounds like a plan! (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41066035)

Google needs to delist ALL German websites Let's see the German internet economy collapse overnight.

I'm thinking that their government is made up of idiots and morons that have no clue how anything really works.

Although we do have a senator that thinks women secrete something when they get raped to prevent pregnancy, so we have our share of complete idiots as well.

Re:Sounds like a plan! (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | about 2 years ago | (#41066059)

Google needs to delist ALL German websites Let's see the German internet economy collapse overnight.

I'm thinking that their government is made up of idiots and morons that have no clue how anything really works.

Although we do have a senator that thinks women secrete something when they get raped to prevent pregnancy, so we have our share of complete idiots as well.

It'd be a good opportunity for another search engine provider to step in and fill the gap but it's not clear that the business model works when the search engine has to pay to display a link.

Re:Sounds like a plan! (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 2 years ago | (#41066119)

Although we do have a senator that thinks women secrete something when they get raped to prevent pregnancy...

He's from the future. In 2250AD women have been genetically engineered to do exactly that.

Re:Sounds like a plan! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41066349)

He's from the future. In 2250AD women have been genetically engineered to do exactly that.

Makes sense, since by 2213 soldiers will be retroengineered to rape everything that moves in order to breed the enemy out.

Re:Sounds like a plan! (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41066179)

Although we do have a senator that thinks women secrete something when they get raped to prevent pregnancy, so we have our share of complete idiots as well.

He's only a congressman. I'm sure they'd never let anyone that batshit crazy be a senator, right?

Does this parallel "selling music by the track"? (1)

drstevep (2498222) | about 2 years ago | (#41066177)

The news purveyors are complaiining that a summary of the article is being presented. People only read the summary and don't click to see the whole article. Ad revenue due to the news purveyor is lost.

This seems similar to the original arguments against selling music by the track instead of the entire CD. The "old model" was that the purchase package was a full CD (with a few good songs and a lot of dogs). This parallels showing a whole page (with a few interesting paragraphs and a lot of filler. The content owners wanted to sell the whole package, not just the highlights.

The new model is letting the listener hear a short clip (the paragraph on the aggregator's page), and then buying an entire song (viewing the whole article on the host page) if interested. Selling a whole CD (buying the magazine/newspaper or hopping to linked articles at the host's site) may be done if there's sufficient "good" content. And once on the host site, the viewer may well view more than the one article.

This seems to work well for the music industry. Yes, the model has changed. Yes, they have adapted. The print world needs to examine this model, use it, adapt.

backward (1)

amoeba1911 (978485) | about 2 years ago | (#41066209)

Everyone tries really really hard to be #1 to be linked by Google and other sites, these guys are ass-backward if they think people should actually pay THEM to put what's essentially free ads on their page. If I were Google, I would completely remove all links the sites that don't want to be linked, and let them die in the abyssal depths of Internet oblivion where nobody knows they exist. What a bunch of retards.
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