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German Copyright Bill Would Let Publishers Charge Search Engines For Excerpts

timothy posted about a year ago | from the mechanical-royalities dept.

Google 114

An anonymous reader writes with this news from Australia's Computerworld: "The German parliament is set to discuss a controversial online copyright bill that is meant to allow news publishers to charge search engines such as Google for reproducing short snippets from their articles. Earlier this week, Google started a campaign against the proposed law. Google was criticized for its campaign against the law. The search engine 'obviously' tries to use its own users for lobbying interests 'under the pretext of a so-called project for the freedom of the Internet,' wrote Günter Krings and Ansgar Heveling, politicians of the CDU and CSU conservative parties, who together form the biggest block in the German parliament."

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114 comments

Yea Google! (2)

paulsnx2 (453081) | about a year ago | (#42135941)

Seriously, Germany's copyright views should be canned by anyone willing to take up the fight.

Re:Yea Google! (-1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about a year ago | (#42135995)

This law is unreasonable, but it's still hard to have sympathy for the largest for-hire propaganda organization on earth...

Re:Yea Google! (4, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#42136115)

It's the way of the world. Without big money behind the opposition these laws will steamroll right through.

Re:Yea Google! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136277)

It's not about sympathy for google. It's about the government supporting entrenched failing business models over newer ones that will replace them. This isn't about google at all. It's about rights. Do you think the government is providing exceptions for Bing and Baidu? Well, maybe for Baidu. I can't see the Chinese government taking any German claims seriously...

Re:Yea Google! (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#42137091)

This law is unreasonable, but it's still hard to have sympathy for the largest for-hire propaganda organization on earth...

Even if that were true (its not), what does this have to do with the main thread?

Re:Yea Google! (5, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#42138337)

Google doesn't need to be sympathetic here. They are right. This law is batshit crazy, so even if Google was run by Adolf HItler, Thomas Edison, and Steve Jobs, they'd still be on the right side of this argument.

Re:Yea Google! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42138597)

Christ people, the Thomas Edison hate, though popular recently, is largely bullshit. Tesla is historically (somewhat) underrated, yes, but The Oatmeal should not be your one-and-only reference.

Re:Yea Google! (2, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#42139177)

You can hate Thomas Edison before reading the Oatmeal, and for things unrelated to Tesla. He was a monopolist in multiple fields, he tortured puppies for profit, and he's given very bad yet often quoted advice to generations of people. His actions have caused humanity a great deal of harm. The man was a cunt despite being viewed as a hero for nearly a century. Just for the record, I hated Edison long before the Oatmeal made a comic about him and Tesla

Re:Yea Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42139071)

Google doesn't need to be sympathetic here. They are right. This law is batshit crazy, so even if Google was run by Adolf HItler, Thomas Edison, and Steve Jobs, they'd still be on the right side of this argument.

As though Hitler would have associated with those pricks..

Just remove it from Google's DB (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42135955)

If google/bing/yahoo/ whoever were to remove all of the articles from their DB the publishers would loose all business from the internet.. Surely this would take 1 month offline before they came crawling back to the Search Engines (literally).

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#42136005)

And that's what is going to happen. And maybe after a few months of web stats crashing, they'll figure out it's not terribly wise to bite the hand that feeds you.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (4, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year ago | (#42136205)

And that's what is going to happen. And maybe after a few months of web stats crashing

No, no-one is going to want to point out that the laws that they argued for so heavily will be their demise. They will find some other scapegoat and quietly ask that the laws be retracted - or make behind the scenes "agreements" with the likes of Google to publish the snippets.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136931)

Even better, Google could charge them to host the excerpts.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | about a year ago | (#42137719)

They'll ask for and get taxpayer funded bailouts, or there'll be some other way to get Google to pay somehow for it. It's a moneygrab.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#42138475)

"Obviously Google is discriminating against us by removing our listings. The German government should pass a law REQUIRING Google to include our sites. While still paying the copyright fees, of course."

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a year ago | (#42140481)

Time to remove Germany from the Internet if this is what they want. Just more proof that copyright/patents/etc are an out of control disease that are killing the modern world and strangling our future.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (1)

JakeBurn (2731457) | about a year ago | (#42136357)

We're talking about online German news services? I wonder how many dozens of Germans actually search Google for news. Seems like most people either go to the sites directly or use aggregate services that have lots of sources already pooled. Even if Google says fine and pays, it seems like the only thing that would change is some gov't employee would be hired to write a program that just searched German news sites on Google millions of times a day.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42137321)

Plenty of people search google and find old news articles. Maybe they don't go there to find the latest news, but eventually someone is going to want to look up something in a search engine that has been covered by a news service.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (1)

zuperduperman (1206922) | about a year ago | (#42139215)

They won't come crawling back to Google. They will crawl to their legislators to mandate that Google include them its index, thus forcing Google to index them AND pay money to do it.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (5, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#42136363)

They could already remove themselves with robots.txt if they wanted to. I bet if Google removed them they would sue it for unfair competition. This is nothing more than extortion.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136745)

Nobody needs to speculate about this. Let Google delist them, then give it about a month and we'll see who's making money out of whom...

Personally, I think Google doesn't provide news aggregation out of pure altruism. Those excerpts are worth good money to it, so why shouldn't it be asked to pay for them? But we don't have to speculate - if Google had the courage of your convictions, we'd know soon enough.

(In fact we'd know already, because Germany isn't the first country to come up with this idea. Oddly, though, Google has yet to implement your idea. What does that tell us?)

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42137333)

All that would prove is that Google is fickle and could delist anyone at any time hence devaluing their search engine in the eyes of the users. They do not dare, or even consider (I'd imagine), to do this. They are the most vendor neutral search engine and have shown that time and again. Any change on that stance would adversely affect Google's popularity.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#42141295)

Just because they aren't doing it out of pure altruism doesn't mean you have to write a law banning doing it - and blocking altruistic versions as a result.

But they're "losing" money from people who would have never been a reader in the first place. No money is made from a person reading the headline, and the headline or idea of the headline is just as likely to spread by word of mouth or by Twitter. And word of mouth won't even have a link to the full article.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#42140223)

This isn't about search, it is about Google News including snippets of articles on its home page. They are saying that Google has built a web portal full of content that brings in ad revenue, but does not pay for the content. Okay, some people click through, but the snippets are enough for a large number of viewers.

They seem to be fine with a couple of sentences being included in search results.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42140293)

The snippets on news.google.com are two sentences long and second sentence is often "Photos by ${PHOTOGRAPHER_NAME}". There's also no ads there.

So, what's big difference between couple of sentences in search results and couple of sentences on Google News?

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#42141383)

Which is kind of odd. I've never used that screen. I only go to Google News to search for news I already know about. And then the snippets help me decide which article I want to read on the subject. Just because someone can be aware of relevant news by glancing at the news home page doesn't really mean anything of value was lost. Even if something of value was gained by the reader.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#42136399)

Exactly. Google already 'pays' for the excerpts by sending them eyeballs for their ad revenue. If they'd rather not have all those eyeballs, they are already free to make their preferences known through robots.txt. Surely, by welcoming Google's crawler knowing what that entails, they have agreed to the excerpts.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136553)

Doesn't everyone know that eyeballs for online ad revenue are worthless?

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#42137195)

Since the newspaper's sites are all about eyeballs for ad revenue, I guess not.

robots.txt is opt-out (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about a year ago | (#42138453)

Robots.txt is opt-out - I thought we liked opt-out rather than opt-in.

Re:robots.txt is opt-out (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#42138831)

Normally, yes. However, given the nature of the web, publishing content that has no password on it is in itself an opt-in. The web is for things you want seen. For those few cases where that is not the intent (and it really is a minuscule percentage), robots.txt may be used to clarify your position. At one time, robots.txt WAS opt-in but too many of that vast majority who wanted to be in the search engines didn't know about it and wondered why they were never spidered.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year ago | (#42139665)

They shouldn't remove it entirely.

They should display the name of the newspaper/site and put a huge black bar over the content.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about a year ago | (#42140143)

If google/bing/yahoo/ whoever were to remove all of the articles from their DB the publishers would loose all business from the internet.. Surely this would take 1 month offline before they came crawling back to the Search Engines (literally).

That sounds obvious, but it isn't really clearly whether that's the case. Here in Brazil major newspapers blocked Google News and the result was a 5% drop in absolute traffic for them, but a net increase in revenue since the remaining 95% accesses are by people who manually go to their sites and then stay a while around, resulting in LOTS more ads displayed. Now, this might be a cultural peculiarity, some special way in which Brazilian Internet users relate with newspapers that differs from other countries. But, who knows? These German newspapers seem to be willing to make a bet and see what happens. If they're successful in a similar way the Brazilian ones were, we might be seeing the beginning of bad times for news aggregators in general, not only Google's.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42140305)

> Here in Brazil major newspapers blocked Google News and the result was a 5% drop in absolute traffic for them, but a net increase in revenue

Do you have a citation on that? I found a plenty of mentions for 5% traffic drop, but nothing about revenue increase.

Re:Just remove it from Google's DB (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about a year ago | (#42140429)

Do you have a citation on that? I found a plenty of mentions for 5% traffic drop, but nothing about revenue increase.

Nope, sorry. I searched now but couldn't find any. What I actually found were mentions to the fact Google News wasn't helping newspapers to grow their audience, and not, as I (most certainly incorrectly) remembered, that leaving caused revenue to grow. I guess nothing on resulting revenue has been published yet.

good job (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136003)

I geuss this will mean Google wont be indexing these sites... Therefore the articles wont be on G and therefor their articles can be used by someone else without any duplicate content penalty from Google. This is going to bite the germans in the ass.

Let 'em (1)

Chewbacon (797801) | about a year ago | (#42136033)

They'll hurt themselves. :)

Re:Let 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136087)

exactly. and how exactly will be the legal hand behind enforcing this? I'd be ashamed to be part of the legal system that has to process something like that; i'd probably quite out of spite, unless of course i get millions of dollars too.. ohh waitit

Re:Let 'em (1)

V for Vendetta (1204898) | about a year ago | (#42141595)

Exactly. And I know what's coming next: after their page views have dropped to the bottom, they propose a new law. "Google ... erhm ... 'monopolists' will be forced to crawl each (newspaper) website. Not doing so and/or excluding them from their search index is an abuse of their dominating market position."

Broken example by them (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136043)

People can already charge for excerpts by putting their content behind a paywall.
In fact, even that one newspaper who did actually got a decent sustainable profit by putting said content behind a paywall, despite concerns.

If the price is right, people will pay for content.
The free web is just more convenient for most people, it isn't the only solution. Never has been.

Having a bill created for it seems redundant and even potentially abusive.

Re:Broken example by them (2)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#42136077)

But this forces users to pay twice: once for the use of Google, now that they'll charge per search; and once to view the full article after reading the abstract on the publisher's site! You don't want the publishers to earn money twice!?

Re:Broken example by them (1)

jimicus (737525) | about a year ago | (#42136147)

Not really. We have a free market in the EU - Google are perfectly at liberty to set up their European offices in another EU country, which is perfectly okay from an invoicing perspective (either as a customer of or supplier to Google), but might be rather awkward for a publisher wanting to charge them.

Re:Broken example by them (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about a year ago | (#42136203)

The website are also perfectly free to use robots.txt

No need for this law.

Re:Broken example by them (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42137167)

The website are also perfectly free to use robots.txt

Yes, but they don't want to not be listed, they are holding their hand out wanting free money.

Re:Broken example by them (2)

onkelonkel (560274) | about a year ago | (#42137741)

The Globe and Mail put up a 10 free samples per month, then we block you and redirect you to a subscription nag screen wall. It was mildly annoying to have to click on somebody else's link to the same story, until I made a wild guess and found that firefox private browsing mode disabled the block.

More proof the publishing industry... (5, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year ago | (#42136099)

... doesn't understand the internet.

Much of the books you find on google are not in user-friendly form and they allow you to find books that you could have NEVER have found in another era. These idiots under-estimate the long-tail of finding books that get lost because of the limited amount of time and attention people have for the limited amount of adspace that exists.

I've found tonnes of books I would never have known about otherwise, these idiots are shooting themselves in the foot.

Re:More proof the publishing industry... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136183)

I've spent a significant money on iTunes after googling up lyrics I heard on the radio or in a shop.

Of course the Right Owners tried to shut these lyrics sites down.

Re:More proof the publishing industry... (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about a year ago | (#42136231)

Oh, the middle men understand the internet just fine. Just like buggy whip manufacturers, after the first time they seen and used a gas pedal on a car.

Re:More proof the publishing industry... (0)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#42136919)

FYI gas pedals were a relatively late innovation. Early cars had throttle pulls on the dash (kind of like a choke pull). Foot throttles were add-ons for early Model Ts. Back then you had to have deep knowledge of your car, just to get up a long hill (gravity feed fuel, you backed up the hill).

Re:More proof the publishing industry... (0)

Paul Jakma (2677) | about a year ago | (#42137103)

Another option was a rotatable lever on the steering wheel. However, foot pedal operated throttles were already in use by at least 1923 - I've driven an Austin 7 of that year with such.

Re:More proof the publishing industry... (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#42137815)

The publishing industry doesn't make money on books that have been out of print for 50 years.

Re:More proof the publishing industry... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#42138147)

I've found tonnes of books I would never have known about otherwise,

Really? What kinds of books? I'm always on the look out for interesting books, if you have any ideas.

Re:More proof the publishing industry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42140589)

I've found tonnes of books I would never have known about otherwise,

Really? What kinds of books? I'm always on the look out for interesting books, if you have any ideas.

Name it, I do a lot of historical research in my spare time on early 20th century engineering, i.e. cars, engines aircraft, ships. I have found a whole slew of first class sources on Google books I would have been very unlikely to find otherwise. Citing sources in your writings seems to have gone out of fashion over the last 20 years or so and people make important statements in their writings but do not cite a source for it. The best part is that many of these older books are now public domain and downloadable from electronic libraries as PDF's. The same goes for computer and other tech books, although those I have to buy but fortunately tech books are almost always available as in electronic format.

So let them have google without any excerpts then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136107)

And that should also hide path part of url since it can contain part of copyrighted content. And see how useful it is.

Just stop indexing them (1)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | about a year ago | (#42136125)

Google, Bing, Yahoo et.al. should just stop indexing German news sites. Let's see what happens to news revenue when that happens.

Re:Just stop indexing them (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#42136201)

Google, Bing, Yahoo et.al. should just stop indexing German news sites. Let's see what happens to news revenue when that happens.

German news sites sue Google and Bing (whoe really uses Yahoo anymore...) for damages in German courts and wins huge sums?

Re:Just stop indexing them (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about a year ago | (#42136375)

How would that even be winnable?

Publishers: "Hurr! Give us moneys to index us!"
Search providers: "No, it's fair use."
Publishers: "We will sue!"
Search providers: "Go ahead"
Court: "It's not fair use. Pay them."
Search providers: "Sure thing, but after this, no indexing"
Publishers: "We'll sue!"
Search providers: "For what, exactly, complying with the court order?"
Court: "by not indexing, they're not infringing"
Publishers: "WAAAAA IT'S NOT FAIR!"

This already happend in Belgium.

--
BMO

Re:Just stop indexing them (0)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42137137)

You assume German courts would be reasonable. If they're anything like German politicians, they won't be.

Re:Just stop indexing them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42140075)

My understanding is that the concept of fair use as the US knows it doesn't exist in the EU. There are several specific rights, such as the right to cite and the right to parody, but not a broad (and vague) fair use. The court didn't say: "It's not fair use." They said: "US law doesn't apply here, we're in Belgium."

Re:Just stop indexing them (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year ago | (#42140561)

If there is no right to fair use, then all indexing is per-se illegal, and search providers pulling out of any and all indexing of publishers that sue it is justified.

There are battles worth fighting and battles against one's own feet with a loaded Uzi on automatic fire. The publishers have extra bullets just to make sure.

--
BMO

Re:Just stop indexing them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136691)

... And toll road owners sue drivers for damages when they take another route.

Re:Just stop indexing them (5, Interesting)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42136245)

They should go a step further. Stop indexing all German news sites and charge a fee to those who want their articles in the search indexes, since it is additional overhead for Google to make exceptions for them.

Re:Just stop indexing them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42139935)

They should go a step further. Stop indexing all German news sites and charge a fee to those who want their articles in the search indexes, since it is additional overhead for Google to make exceptions for them.

Yes Google should do that, thereby totally abusing their near monoly position on the search market in an attempt to blackmail a nation state into legislating in a way that suits Google an action which is guaranteed to instantly get the undivided attention of the EU commission (the same one who handed Microsoft a record $1,4 billon fine).

Re:Just stop indexing them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42140193)

Which wouldn't be very credible. The only thing they need to do to block a site is a small change in the way they handle robots.txt. Google no doubt stores their own copy in some form and have a process in place to periodically refresh it from the website. All they need to do is replace that with their own version stating the site is not to be indexed, and flag it to prevent a new version to be fetched from the website. The rest of the blocking process is part of their normal operation.

What happened in Belgium is more likely: Google lost in court (EU countries' copyright laws do not have the general concept of fair use but a number of specific exceptions that probably don't cover this), but instead of paying royalties Google stopped indexing, after which the newspapers noticed they rather missed the visitors Google used to bring to them and changed their minds.

Re:Just stop indexing them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136281)

Wonder how long it would be before the news agencies come back hat in hand asking to be indexed. Hear is a thought, bloke indexing of ALL german sites. They elected these dopes they own it!

Re:Just stop indexing them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136303)

Dam kalifornia education I meant to say BLOCK.

Re:Just stop indexing them (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#42136941)

I liked the other idea, hire a bunch of blokes to train the AI about German sights. It will be incomprehensible.

Re:Just stop indexing them (1)

91degrees (207121) | about a year ago | (#42139355)

Then another company decides it will index German news sites, and by indexing more material, becomes a viable competitor to Google, Bing and Yahoo in Germany.

Re:Just stop indexing them (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year ago | (#42139675)

and by indexing more material, becomes a viable competitor to Google, Bing and Yahoo in Germany.

Hardly.

Re:Just stop indexing them (2)

ConfusedVorlon (657247) | about a year ago | (#42140435)

that would be abusing the search ~monopoly for a different business.

there are two separate businesses here
1) google search (newspapers want to be in this, but possibly don't want snippets showing)
2) google news (newspapers want payment for snippets in this)

at the moment, they can opt out of 1, or 2 independently using robots.txt

if they switch to demanding payment for #2, then google should just de-list them from #2 until they pay an advertising fee (which is coincidentally equal to the government mandated copyright charge plus 15% admin cost).

if google removed companies from #1 as a result of their position on #2 then that would be a clear abuse of power.

Re:Just stop indexing them (1)

Cederic (9623) | about a year ago | (#42140793)

What if Google used the justification that a publisher had demanded removal of excerpts, so Google has responded by removing those excerpts and corresponding links from all *.google.de sites?

If you can't link a sentence without paying for it, then you can't include it in search results either.

Re:Just stop indexing them (1)

ConfusedVorlon (657247) | about a year ago | (#42141869)

> If you can't link a sentence without paying for it, then you can't include it in search results either.

sure you can.

Google searches my entire site - but they definitely do not have permission to take all my content and reproduce it on their new site for supporting their remote control apps. Similarly with use of the news stories, there is a reasonable debate to be had about what constitutes fair use.

The newspapers are arguing (quite reasonably) that Google News (where summaries of news stories are presented in what is essentially a newspaper) is different from Google Search.

the point where they get unreasonable is in arguing that Google should pay for the snippets whilst failing to opt out of Google News (which they could easily do with their robots.txt)

Here's what'll happen. (5, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year ago | (#42136263)

If the law passes, the search engines will go "fuck that" and only index free content or newspapers that specifically allow their stuff to be indexed for free. The other newspapers will lose their only remaining readers under fifty and die out along with that generation.

There are some newspapers in my country who actually get the internet.

ZEIT launches searchable news archive with API [developer.zeit.de]

Re:Here's what'll happen. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136641)

Or maybe the newspapers will make their own search engine, better than Google, and Google will be left out.

Re:Here's what'll happen. (0)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#42137295)

judging by the average newspapers site i think not. Most are 90% adds poorly laid out content that often don't render well(overlaping) and try to direct you to dead tree versions. i am surprised that they can set up a lamp server in most cases.

Re:Here's what'll happen. (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | about a year ago | (#42139351)

They can't even do the one thing they're supposed to do - publish news - decently, unless you count celebrity X kisses celebrity Y's ass as news. how on earth can you think they can bring out a *better* search engine than Google's?

Re:Here's what'll happen. (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year ago | (#42139175)

Something worse than fuck will happen. The propaganda, er news agencies of the Chinese, Russian, Iranian governments, or some fringe extremist group will take up the slack. They will be more than happy to supply "freely" indexable censored news.

robots.txt -- yet again (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | about a year ago | (#42139847)

If the law passes, the search engines will go "fuck that" and only index free content or newspapers that specifically allow their stuff to be indexed for free. The other newspapers will lose their only remaining readers under fifty and die out along with that generation.

The supreme stupidity here is that a law is not needed. If the sites don't want to be indexed, it's dead simple to set up robots.txt [robotstxt.org] to keep out Google and the others. But that's been pointed out thousands of times by now. So if they and the courts are not getting it by now, it is because they choose not to get it.

The key word is "would" (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42136327)

If everybody jumped at everything proposed in legislature at all the foreign governments, obesity would be a thing of the past.

Every once in a great while I'll get what I need form the summary of that page (ex. definition, reference), but the other 99.5% I click the link and go to the page like I normally would & I don't think my googling habits are unique in any way, so this type of law would make websites have to adapt... more descriptive page headers & titles for starters, or... they can just keep using the current system, which nobody seems to mind, but I doubt google would pay however many sites are out there to promote their content for them, it's the other way around.

Google needs to work with other engines (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year ago | (#42136521)

It is long past time for the major engines to work together for a week to simply pull all of the news items from those nations. If French and German news sources lose their customers during that time, I think that they will appreciate what the engines do for them.

Re:Google needs to work with other engines (1)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#42138707)

It is long past time for the major engines to work together for a week to simply pull all of the news items from those nations.

No, because then that would be collusion, and could end up with nasty things like the government mandating the search engines pay newspapers to "license" their content.

Just leave it to the free market. The search engines which want to pay the newspapers to index them can. The search engines which don't won't. If the newspaper content is as valuable to search engine users as the newspapers think they are, then those search engines will do well and the other search engines will eventually pay the newspapers to index them. OTOH if the newspaper content isn't as valuable as the newspapers think, then a bunch of newspapers are going to disappear from the web and probably go bankrupt. That's the ultimate judge of who's right and who's wrong.

Another way to fight (1)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | about a year ago | (#42136649)

would be for Google to block search results, and mention in news pages, for any publisher objecting to reasonable quotes. If they don't want publicity, they should be accommodated.

The pretext of Internet freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136731)

The search engine "obviously" tries to use its own users for lobbying interests "under the pretext of a so-called project for the freedom of the Internet," wrote Günter Krings and Ansgar Heveling

I exclusively use duckduckgo as my search engine, not wanting to be bubbled or tracked by Google. That being said, Günter Krings and Ansgar Heveling are ignorant if they think this law won't have devestating repercussions for both search relevance and news sites income. This is a money grab by failing online news sites, and it is going to come back to bite them when the following three inevitabilities occur:

1. Legitimate search engines like Bing and Google stop cataloging German sites, either in protest of law or for the obvious fiscal reason of avoiding fees and expensive lawsuits.
2. New search engines emerge, hosted somewhere German companies cannot touch them. These extrajudicial search engines index all news sites and throw anybody the finger if they demand money.
3. New or existing news organizations that have half a brain come out against the law, and explicitly open up their site to be freely indexed by all search engines. These few businesses thrive in what has become a vacuum for German news.
4. Overall traffic to the other news sites plummet as they lose their primary source of referrals--search engines. In response to their failing business, they attempt to implement a paywall; but with the drastic decrease in readership caused by the new law, there simply aren't enough customers to support the new business model. As a last ditch effort they make an app for the iPad. No one cares.

It discovered life, just not intelligent life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42136799)

As evidenced by the Mardi Gras beads in the link, Curiosity discovered evidence of life; just not intelligent life.

Google's bias (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42137411)

Of course Google are heavily biased here. People at Slashdot are among the first to jump up and down on a company for lobbying in its own interests. I personally hate when large companies throw their weight around like this.

However, I certainly feel there is a right side to this debate and Google just so happen to be on it.

Search companies should charge them for indexing (4, Funny)

zome (546331) | about a year ago | (#42137919)

For CEOs, it is easier to for them to pay for somethings than give away something for free. So Google, Bing, etc, should come up with the service for those publishers and charge them like $1000 a months to index their website and list it on the search result. If they don't pay, no index for them. It's now a fair game among the publishers thus they can't really sue Google, Bing, etc for anti-competitive.

Then Google, Bing, etc can compete with each others for lower rate. After a while, one, and soon after that, all of them will offer free listing, and those CEO will jump with joy (we didn't have to pay for it anymore, yeh!!)

Problem solved.

Search results? (1)

sgunhouse (1050564) | about a year ago | (#42138779)

Is this about search results? Most similar laws in the past have been about Google News (and similar services from other search engines). If they're asking to charge for search context, then sure they're shooting themselves in the foot - I don't know about you, but I hate results with no context. If they're trying to shut down Google News https://news.google.com/ [google.com] then it's a slightly different story ... only slightly though, Google does only include snippets there too.

Germans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42138979)

God Germans are stupid. Sure they might get good grades academically, but common sense and reason seem beyond them!

I can see why they just agree with whatever Hitler told them. They're still at it with the EU and this copyright shit!

Google could make money from this (1)

qzzpjs (1224510) | about a year ago | (#42139079)

Google should consider each of those excerpts as advertisements of the news articles. Then, they should turn around and charge the news organizations for them.

That advertisement fee should cover the cost of the copyright plus the administration costs of managing those fees. That way the news companies would end up paying more to Google than Google pays them back.

All parties youth organisations say it is stupid (2)

fiveop (1184119) | about a year ago | (#42139311)

What's rather funny is, that all partie's (CDU/CSU/SPD/GREENS/LIBERALS/PIRATES) youth organisations said in a joint statement (the Left was left out, but they say the same), that the law is stupid.

Again people are missing the point (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42139369)

Publisher do not mind being indexed, what they mind is the scrapping of their page and using exerpt, in say, google news. Why is that ? Because there are a lot of people like me which simply look at google new, read the exerpt, and don't bother with the full article. And that is that many impression / hit on their homepage that the publisher *loses*.

So again , this is not about indexing, this is about using news exerpt like this : http://news.google.com/?edchanged=1&ned=de&authuser=0 [google.com].

As for threat of removing from the index, big fucking deal. The bulk of what such online journal get is daily ad impression due to recurring visitor. What they see is the industry as a whole would get more recurring visitor if google news do not exists.

Re:Again people are missing the point (2)

badzilla (50355) | about a year ago | (#42140547)

There is something wrong with this argument but my mind won't tell me what it is. Why do the publishers think people like you should read the full article if you are perfectly happy to read only an excerpt? In fact why don't the publishers save time by only publishing the excerpt (since people don't bother with the full article.) Of course Google would not able to show you this excerpt so instead would have to display a link to "mystery news".

as opposed to... (1)

kenorland (2691677) | about a year ago | (#42140213)

The search engine "obviously" tries to use its own users for lobbying interests "under the pretext of a so-called project for the freedom of the Internet", wrote Günter Krings and Ansgar Heveling, politicians of the CDU and CSU conservative parties, who together form the biggest block in the German parliament."

As opposed to... the German press and publishers, who have been abusing their position to misinform and manipulate public opinion for their own financial gain for decades.

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42140217)

It would not let publishers charge search engines, it would make searchengines no longer index germany...

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