German parliament has now given the voted approval for a licensing fee should the search engine wish to reproduce more than just a few short excerpts of a news story. Fortunately to come into play it still needs to be ratified by the upper house of German parliament, but that’s only a stone’s throw away.
This isn’t wholly surprising considering its country of origin. Germany has been a prime example of over protective legislature in recent years thanks to its licensing of music, which has kept many contemporary music services from setting up shop in the Central European nation – purely because it’s so expensive.
Ars points out that in this situation, Google isn’t keen to abide by the new ruling: “As a result of today’s vote, ancillary copyright in its most damaging form has been stopped,” Google said in a statement. “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.”
It hasn’t been made clear by German authorities, what the allowed “snippets” entail, so there is some wiggle room for Google and other search engines for now.
KitGuru says: This is just silly. More politicians wading into a creative industry that don’t understand content creation and proliferation. Stop protecting things that require freedom in order to be experienced properly.