A German media company claims that search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are in violation of the country’s ancillary copyright law.
Jeff Jarvis, media and news blogger at Buzzmachine.com and author of the book ‘What Would Google Do?’ reported that VG Media, a collection agency for copyright holders, believe that search engines should pay them revenues of 11% for linking and publishing segments of their content.
The ancillary copyright law, created last year, states that search engines are allowed free use of single words and very small text excerpts. Apparently, VG Media feel that search engines are going above and beyond this.
A recent press release from VG Media said that they expect “payments from any company, that it considers to infringe on that the ‘ancillary copyright’ of its members.”
The problem isn’t with Google news, as it doesn’t contain any ads. As Jeff Jarvis writes: “Are the publishers seeking 11 percent of 0?” However, news content does appear outside of Google news pages within regular Google searches where ads do appear. The publishers want an 11% payment every time their content appears on pages where there are ads present. If the ads are clicked on, the publishers also want an 11% revenue from that.
Jeff Jarvis brought up the fact that the publishers were already getting vital visibility from Google anyway: “If the publishers really want a fair exchange of value, then they should also be paying Google for the links – the readers – it sends their way.” However this approach would be compromising Google’s unbiased stance.