Google News opt-in is not good enough, German publishers say

Publishers want a share of Google's revenue, they said

German publishers will disappear from Google News on Aug. 1 unless they opt in to the service as Google seeks to comply with a new German law. But the publishers said on Monday that this is not good enough, they want a share in Google's revenue.

The law will come into effect on Aug. 1 and gives publishers the exclusive right to commercialize their products or parts thereof, except in the case of single words or very small text snippets.The length of the text snippets however, is not defined in the law, creating a grey area for news aggregators such as Google that republish part of the texts.

"In light of this development, and given the uncertainty of the new law, we have developed the Google News Confirmed Consent Tool as a confirmation system that German publishers will need to use if they would like to have or continue to have their content included in Google News," Google spokesman Ralf Bremer said via email on Monday. The tool was introduced on Friday.

That means that only German publishers that give their consent will remain in the Google News index after Aug. 1, Bremer said.

The Federation of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV) and the Federation of German Magazine Publishers (VDZ) welcomed the opt-in mechanism, said Peter Klotzki, spokesman for the VDZ. "Google threatened to unlist all the publishers and never get a chance to opt-in again," he said, adding that in this way publishers get a choice just as intended by the law.

Google however argues that the opt-in mechanism is just an addition to other tools publishers can use to control their presence on Google News. "Publishers have always been free to decide whether and how their articles should be displayed in Google News. The new tool provides them with an additional option to do so," Bremer said.

If publishers in Germany or elsewhere do not want to be included they can use technical option like robots.txt and meta tags to prevent indexing by Google, the company said in a the blog post in which the consent tool was announced.

But the publishers assume the German law goes further, Klotzki said. The VDZ and the BDZV want a share of the revenue Google makes by republishing their content, and this opt-in tool doesn't let publishers share in the revenue, he said.

The law was drafted because the publishers demanded compensation for claimed revenue loss.

Google isn't planning a revenue sharing model though. "Google News is a free service, unbiased by commercial relationships. We want to keep it that way," Bremer said.

"Globally speaking Google drives a huge amount of traffic to publishers for free -- 6+ billion visits per month. This provides real economic value also for German publishers," he said.

While the publishers disagree, they first want to see what the result of the implementation of the opt-in will be when the law enters into force, Klotzki said, adding that it is too early for legal action against Google.

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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Googleintellectual propertycopyrightlegallegislationgovernmentinternetsearch engines

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

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?