German publishers join collecting society to collect money from Google

The publishers are demanding compensation based on a new but controversial online copyright law

Twelve German online news publishers have taken a 50 percent stake in collecting society VG Media, with the aim of receiving compensation from search engines that republish parts of news articles.

Joining collecting society VG Media is the publishers' first step toward collecting compensation from search engines such as Google and Bing, said VG Media spokesman Bernd Delventhal Tuesday. The publishers want a part of the advertising revenue search engines and aggregators generate by republishing parts of journalistic content.

The publishers aim to be compensated in much the same way as music-collecting society's receive compensation for the artists they represent, he added.

A German online copyright law that came into effect last Aug. 1 gives publishers the exclusive right to the commercial use of their content. The law is a toned-down version of a controversial copyright bill that aimed to give publishers the right to charge search engines as well as news aggregators for republishing short text snippets like the ones used by Google News.

The toned-down version of the law gives publishers the exclusive right to commercialize their products or parts thereof, except in the case of single words or small text snippets. The exemption was added in order to allow search engines and aggregators to continue to show parts of news articles without infringing on copyright. Publishers, however, contend that the law still allows them to demand compensation.

Joining a collecting society enables publishers to receive compensation, said Delventhal. Now that they own half of VG Media, the publishers are scheduled to form an advisory committee on March 13 that will decide on the best way to collect money from search engines, he said, adding that the compensation could, for instance, be based on page views.

But the effort to collect compensation could lead to lawsuits, he added.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but it has said before that it would not pay for republishing snippets of content.

In anticipation of the law, Google introduced a Google News opt-in for German publishers. Only publishers that gave their consent remained in Google News' index after Aug. 1.3

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags copyrightGooglelegalintellectual propertyVG Media

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?