Back in August, news broke about a new law proposed by the German Bundestag that would put tighter restrictions on news aggregation services like Google News, which would result in companies paying fees for offering readers fragments of articles. Now that the proposal is about to have its first reading in the lower house of Parliment this Friday, Google has decided to urge German users to write their members of the Bundestag against the measure in what many are calling a rare move for the American company.
Google, which dominates the European search market with a 93% market share, is warning users that the proposal “would make it much more difficult to find the information that you seek in the Internet.” What sites like Google News offers is actually beneficial to news organizations, as it draws people into the story with a link to the original article. However, popular news outlets including Bild, Die Welt, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung believe the short paragraph and title is too much to give away for free.
Because the German public has been largely unaware of the proposal, partly due to the news organization bias towards the bill, Google felt the need to do more with the launch of the “Defend Your Internet” campaign. If the law passes, and Google decides to remove news listings instead of paying each publisher, traffic to the news sites will more than likely come to a crawl and advertising revenue could plummet.
If you live in Germany, we highly recommend checking out Google’s campaign and writing the Bundestag with your concerns. Check out the video below and head on over to the “Defend Your Internet” site in the source link below for more info.