France, Germany looking at laws requiring pay for content
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/31/2012 -- Google says that a proposed French law requiring that search engines pay for newspaper content would hurt the Internet.
The French “Google law,” similar to one being considered in Germany, is supported by many newspaper owners. They say search-engine results that show their articles undermine their profits and infringe on their copyrights.
France’s minister for small business and digital technology, Fleur Pellerin, was in Germany to discuss the proposed measures.
“Europe will be stronger if it can move ahead unified on that idea,” Pellerin said, according to Great Britain’s The Mail Online.
But Google said the law would threaten the Internet.
“The Web has led to an explosion of content creation, by both professional and citizen journalists,” said Olivier Esper, director of public policy for Google in France. “So it’s not a secret that we think a law like the one proposed in France and Germany would be very damaging to the Internet.”
The proposal also could hurt the public and the news media, the search-engine company argued. But Google also held out hope of compromise.
“We have always been and remain committed to collaborate with French publishers associations as they experiment and develop sustainable economic models on the Internet,” Google stated.
The company also is lobbying against the proposed German law.
Major Brazilian newspapers recently have turned their backs on Google News. They say that search-engine results were directing users away from their sites and that Google would not pay for their content.
After a recommendation from the National Association of Newspapers, 154 members, accounting for 90% of newspaper circulation in Brazil, denied Google News the use of their content.
Google has maintained that it delivers news readers to websites, but the Brazilian association disagreed.
“Staying with Google News was not helping us grow our digital audiences,” association president Carlos Fernando Lindenberg Neto said, according to The Mail. “By providing the first few lines of our stories to Internet users, the service reduces the chances that they will look at the entire story in our websites.”
The organization began a study of Google News in 2010. It says its pullout affects Google News, and not Google, which still will be able to find newspaper content.
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