German Publishers Go After Google; Apparently Very Confused About How The Internet Works

from the welcome-to-online dept

It looks like Germany may be a new front in clueless attacks on Google. With newspapers and magazines admitting that they're too clueless to know what to do with traffic Google sends them, officials in Germany are opening an antitrust investigation into Google based on some of the most ridiculous logic we've heard to date:
Hans-Joachim Fuhrmann, a spokesman for the German Newspaper Publishers Association, said the Web sites of all German newspapers and magazines together made 100 million euros, or $143 million, in ad revenue, while Google generated 1.2 billion euros from search advertising in Germany.

"Google says it brings us traffic, but the problem is that Google earns billions, and we earn nothing," Mr. Fuhrmann said.
Okay. Let's pick apart this apples and oranges comparison. First off, Google earns 1.2 billion euros from search advertising which has almost nothing to do with news. It comes from people searching for cameras or cribs or cars. Google News had no advertising at all for most of its existence and only introduced ads in the US less than a year ago. In other words, no, Google is not making more than newspapers and magazines when it comes to its News site in Germany.

And, even if Google was making more money (which, again, there's no evidence that this is true), that still doesn't excuse Fuhrmann's claims -- which basically amount to him admitting that Google figured out how to make money and the companies he represents did not. Yet the publishers he represents had all of the advantages in the world. They were local. Google was not. They had been around for many more years than Google. They had brand recognition and loyalty that Google did not. Furhmann is basically admitting what a colossal failure the companies he represents have been. They failed to capitalize on a huge opportunity. And now, when Google sends them traffic, they are still failing to use that traffic wisely. And then they blame Google for it? Wow.
The publishers also complained about what they saw as a lack of transparency in the way Google presents search results and news snippets in its Google News service, saying the company was manipulating the results to help maintain its strong position....

"We often feel like Web sites are elevated in Google's search results if they have a strong business relationship with Google, and we think we can prove it," Mr. Fuhrmann said.
So go ahead and prove it. First of all, Google is a private company and can rank sites however it wants. It's an opinion of what Google feels is most relevant. If Google was not doing a good job, then people would go away. So basically, at this point, Fuhrmann hasn't just admitted that the publishers he represents have failed miserably to set up even the most basic business models for adapting to the internet, he's now suggesting that Google is purposely handicapping its own site by not presenting the absolute best results!

It's difficult to see how this makes any sense at all. The publishers are claiming that Google is purposely degrading its results (and they can prove it!) and at the same time complaining that they can't compete against those degraded results. Wow.

On top of all that, the article reminds us, as we discussed last year, that these publishers have convinced German Chancellor Angela Merkel to support a new copyright law that would force aggregators to pay up just to link to stories. It's as if Germany doesn't want the internet at all.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    oh my head, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 1:49pm

    it gives me a headache

    as someone said to me a lil while ago there just are too many retards..er mentally challenged people around.
    my own search is searched by Google too i get almost 150K hits a week thanks to Google

    Whether i want thats or not is up to me. if i'm a retard er mentally challenged i could ban the bots, and enjoy obscurity

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 1:56pm

    Well, there's your problem! Mr. Fuhrmann thinks that $143 million in ad revenue equals nothing. He's really bad at maths. And thinking. And dealing with reality.

     

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  3.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 2:26pm

    I'll clear this up!

    Google provides service (to all involved--searchers and searched alike) which is paid for by advertising. F*$king duh.

    Ok, now can anybody translate that into German for me so we can email that Hans-Joachim Fuhrmann?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 2:32pm

    Humanity is doomed.

    There's just no other reasonable explanation.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 2:35pm

    Unfortunately, the publishers will probably win. Does anyone have any faith in judges to know how reality works anymore?

     

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  6.  
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    Brian (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 2:42pm

    Being given money

    Google IS giving them money! People click on the links which take them to these news sites. The ads on those news sites are displayed which are now available for those people to click on, view, and buy the products on those ads. If someone does click on one, well it looks like Google just sent them free money since last I checked Google doesn't charge people money to include their sites in the results.

     

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  7.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 2:54pm

    Yup!

    "It's as if Germany doesn't want the internet at all."

    Ah, you're starting to get it! Next maybe someone, perhaps me, can do some digging into Mr. Fuhrmann, any affiliations he has, what banks sit on his company's boards, who they lobby, who they've sent in the political ranks, etc.

    Then you might, MIGHT, find that all of this stuff about copyright/trademark/patents/IP laws etc. isn't really about that at all, but rather about controlling a communications medium that they find extremely threatening....

     

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  8.  
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    chris (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    ze traffiks, zey do nothing!

    admitting that Google figured out how to make money and the companies he represents did not. Yet the publishers he represents had all of the advantages in the world. They were local. Google was not. They had been around for many more years than Google. They had brand recognition and loyalty that Google did not. Furhmann is basically admitting what a colossal failure the companies he represents have been. They failed to capitalize on a huge opportunity. And now, when Google sends them traffic, they are still failing to use that traffic wisely.

    lol lawyers. lawyers lol.

     

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  9.  
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    Führermann, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Re: it gives me a headache

    Look. I know it was 70 years ago, but...

    Any nation that would support the rise of maniacal dictator, bend on the extermination of millions of innocent people, and stand idly by while that extermination was being conducted...

    ...well, we can't really say much for their cognitive or ethical sensibilities, now can we? Not that EVERY German went along...we know that's not true. But...

    Let me be the first to say it:

    *These* Germans ARE mentally retarded, in the strictest sense of the word. I'm not trying to insult them, I'm simply pointing out that they are behind the rest of the world (and their fellow countrymen who aren't retarded) in regards to rational thought. They are in fact, retarded in their thought processes.

    Deutsch Zeitungen Über Alles!

     

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  10.  
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    Clever Dick, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: it gives me a headache

    Um...

    You better not be an American.

    Because, I'd have some questions for you, like how many Iraqis died while the US Nationals stood idly by, supporting their leader who was bend on the Iraqis' extermination?

    Hmm?

     

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  11.  
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    :), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 3:30pm

    The fall.

    Mostly I get my news from blogs that point to others stories in other places or googling.

    And an increasing part of news comes from forums where people break out the news first and the big media get to it latter.

    Even great coverage was been done by some blogs like boingo boingo on the hiati earthquake with images and videos posted by people on the ground there and that was not missed on CNN that got the iNews or something like that and have a very big post asking for people to give them video or news.

    Why do people need traditional magazines again? or newspapers?

    Even DNA testing that uncover misslabeling of fish in NY was not done by the traditional media.

    By the way bloggers too are starting to get perks and some are not that trustworthy either but hey at least they don't have luxurious buildings for headquarters just yet LoL

     

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  12.  
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    :), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: it gives me a headache

    Well that could be argued for every nation on the planet right now.

    History is littered with examples from American Indians, Incas, Mayans, the English Empire, The Persian Empire, The Roman Empire, Shoguns, Sionization, India, Pakistan(when bangladesh got independence) and many many more instances we are all in a sense retarded.

     

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  13.  
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    dennis parrott, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 3:46pm

    You get an "F" for "Fail"...

    @Führermann (#9):

    Please pick up some REAL history books because you do not understand anything at all about Hitler's rise to power, how it came about, how it snuck up on the people, who backed him, who made billions off of him, etc. Your total lack of knowledge places you on the list of "historically challenged" (a PC way of saying "retard").

    However, Dark Helmet (#7) gets it completely. There are elites around the globe who want to try to put the Internet genie back in the proverbial bottle. It is WAY TOO THREATENING to their stranglehold on culture and perverse version of consensus reality. What these people, governments, corporations are trying to do is nothing short of global fascism and having people with free opinions threaten that consensus reality. Threatening that reality threatens their profit streams. Old media was a large part of enforcing that consensus reality on everyone. (Aside: just who gets to decide what that consensus should be? Hmmm...)

    I've wondered what it is they are all trying to hide that they need to cover it up and grind the world into conformity rather than just sell something different...

    I suspect that Google will school them on how they got that $143 million somewhere along the line. Perhaps all the search companies should just tell all of the "old media" to politely get lost -- we are no longer going to have you in our search results PERIOD and see how that goes down...

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    So Let Me Get This Straight

    Just so I understand this properly... Germany wants aggregators (or anyone who links to a news story,like I like to do sometimes) to pay the originator for the free advertising that we are giving them? Is that about it? Just so I understand. If I send a link to a story and tell my friend that she "really must see this article!" I'm providing a bit of free advertising and sending my friend to a source she might not have gone to otherwise. She might interact with one or more of the advertisers there and purchase something she might not otherwise purchase. (I might do something like this also, by the way.) She might return to this source herself if she likes what they have written. I've just made a potential sale, do I get a commission? No, I have to pay for the privilege of doing them a favor! Just so I understand...

     

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    Brian (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 4:51pm

    Re: So Let Me Get This Straight

    Yah, that's pretty much whats going on here.

     

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  16.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 5:38pm

    Re:

    "Humanity is doomed"

    This is a good thing! It leaves us Greek Gods the ability to finally get some peace an quiet ...

     

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  17.  
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    Luci, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: it gives me a headache

    Are you talking about the SECRET camps that we knew nothing about, then caused a huge uproar when we found out about them? Or are you making nonsensical noises, again?

     

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  18.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 5:52pm

    Re: Yup!

    "...but rather about controlling a communications medium that they find extremely threatening...."

    Yeah Money, Power, Control ... seems that the internet is changing everything that matters to people who have one or more of them. When all information is available to everyone at any time it is a scary thing to some people.

    Whats funny is what happens when google with all their processing power actually does a create a better search engine challenge, with a 10 million dollar prize, and makes search actually return what people are looking for in the first couple results.

    Or another one .... What happens when google actually goes out and actively provides people with new information they are interested in based on previous searches ... think RSS feed of everything you are interested in.

     

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  19.  
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    TW Burger (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 5:58pm

    The Fourth Reich

    Google has money.
    Germany needs money. We need money to expand our glorious fatherland as is our Aryan birthright. We must take the money from Google that Germany requires!

    Now substitute 'Poland' for 'Google' and 'land' for 'money' and it's 1939 all over again, but this time with lawyers.

    I wonder when they start making IT workers tape yellow stars to their pocket protectors?

    Google should cut German periodicals off completely for a couple of months to show the publishers what really poor revenue is like.

     

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  20.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    My two cents ..... on the newspaper industry

    With reports and briefs I have read over the past couple weeks. What is going to happen over the next two to five years is tablets and e-book readers are going to displace newpapers. (When I put this together I began laughing)

    The business plan will go something like this ....

    1) We will provide you news on you tablet, smart phone, e-book reader for a fee.
    2) After some amount of time they will make blurbs available for public consumption. and try to sell you a subscription to thier e-book, tablet plan.
    3) After the news isnt news worthy anymore we will open it up for people to read.

    In the next couple weeks to months you will hear about Apples Tablet, NY Times, Rupert Murdochs holdings, AP, and a bunch of strategic alliances.

    IMHO ... 50-50 success-fail ratio.

    More than likely in the end you will see editors and reporters side stepping the news agencies and papers and working indie deals with e-book and tablet data providers. Think NPR, AP, etc type system with less overhead direct to you data device.

     

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  21.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: Yup!

    "... think RSS feed of everything you are interested in."...

    Based on previous searches and your interests-repeat search settings.

     

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  22.  
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    Yeebok (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 6:27pm

    The obvious conclusion here

    Is that by them not making $ off Google, but Google sending them traffic .. is to realise not doing business properly is costing them money .. and to change (by blocking Google and dying).

    There's so many more likely to succeed options before suing - like doing the same thing nationally themselves .. jus' sayin'.

     

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  23.  
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    TW Burger (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Yup!

    It looks like this is a long running theme of Fuhrmann's work. In 2005 he was doing PR against free dailies. It looks like the argument is a strawman. What the German newspapers want is to remain in power and stop any change in the current structure giving them total control. Just like Time and other journals it seems they did not anticipate the Internet and are attacking Google because they have the most money (ala Steve Dallas).

    Hans-Joachim Fuhrmann, member of the board of the BDZV (German Newspaper Publishers’ Association).

    Interview from 14.11.2005:

    http://www.ifra.com/website/ntwebsite.nsf/0/EE365BA82BDF8A7BC12570B90057AFEE?OpenDocu ment&3&R&MIAJOI-6JNFCH

    newspaper techniques: Why is the German market especially problematical for the introduction of free newspapers?

    Hans-Joachim Fuhrmann: Free newspapers are by nature problematical, independent of national markets. They are in total contradiction to the principle that journalistic quality has its price and therefore should not be given away.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 7:10pm

    Countries strongly influenced by the U.S. (ie: Germany after WW 1) tend to have draconian laws. The U.S. corporations seem to test stupid laws in other countries first (ie: Canada, Germany, etc...) before trying them at home. At least a backlash in another country won't affect the responsible tyrants in the U.S.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 7:23pm

    Please folks, don't put down developmentally challenged people by comparing them to Mr. Fuher-man. We need a new term for people too stupid to come to grasps with advancing technology that doesn't disparage retards. Let's call them E-TARDS!

    The funny thing is, once the paywalls go up, the news will remain free. When's the last time you read anything worthwhile from a so-called "reporter" that wasn't just paraphrased from the newswire release? Oh, sure, there are a few real reporters left, who don't make up half of their stories or present them with a bias, but they're few and far between. In today's connected world, ordinary people will witness the news, and share it with others, leaving the paywalled media without any paying audience.

     

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  26.  
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    macduck71, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 8:05pm

    Re: it gives me a headache

    You shouldn't insult retards by linking them to these mentally challenged people.

     

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  27.  
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    AMH, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 1:13am

    Be nice to germans!

    Google is indeed a potential danger to germans. Most of us tend to follow authority without questioning anything. The market share of google in germany is frightening.

    The german newspaper publishers suffered a lot lately and the result is a general lack of high quality journalism. So in one way it is true, the internet is responsible for the current decay of journalistic quality in print. For many tech-illiterate people in germany, google is resembling the internet.

    But seeing all you americans pointing fingers at germans for protectionism? Self-perception, anyone? It is like our own little RIA. At least they dont sue us for reading free news on the internet.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 1:55am

    @25 "In today's connected world, ordinary people will witness the news, and share it with others, leaving the paywalled media without any paying audience."

    That's it. Read it three times.

     

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    sin-tax (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:49am

    Being a German and...

    ... being struck be more than the article points out.

    My written English is not so good - so please apologize.

    Here in Germany there are actually two laws in making:

    1st: they try to build a law, which would allow the state to break up any company, that has a monopoly position even if the firm is not misusing it (against customers or competitors). this aims directly against google.

    2nd: the publishers want a fee for published content. in germany everybody owning a tv-set has to pay a fee for public braodcasting. even owning a pc is enough to have to pay. something like this the publishers (especially print-publishers) want for themselves.

    so while reading nearly only online-news, i would have to pay, to back up a business-model that is not working anymore.

    and yes - a lot of german publishers do not understand the internet. some time ago they went to court against a small meta-news-serachengine, claiming, that any deeplink (or any link at all) was a copyright infringement. long before google news was born (exactly in 1999) newsclub.de startet, and some publishers went to war via court. the young man, that i happen to know, who invented this serachengine did not have the money to fight till supreme-court. that did google some time later. a link, since then, is not a copyright infringement at all.

    so while there is no chance via copyright law, they now try some other way.

    and a lot of german politicans stand by to pass these laws. especially a party called FDP, that claims to be a civil rights party (while being a neo-economists-party).

    so just wait and see while our politicans kick us back into digital stoneage. :-(

     

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  30.  
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    DB, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 5:49am

    Rankings as Opinions

    There are a lot of other issues, but I think the comment that Google can place things in any order they want is not supportable. They may be able to keep their algorithms confidential, they may be able to organize their space in a lot of different ways, and they may be able to peddle lots of things, but they don't have a right to mislead people. There was once a Hit Parade case where radio stations (or a radio station) broadcast rankings of songs based on music sales. It was touted as accurate, but turned out was simply fabricated. The same applies to Google -- if the tout their listings/rankings as accurate they should be accurate.

     

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  31.  
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    Jobs, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 5:49am

    Google could get away with Chinese Publishers, it can't get away with German. Gernmany, bravo.

     

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  32.  
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    Jens, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: it gives me a headache

    Haha, first Hitler troll in not even 2 hours.

     

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  33.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: it gives me a headache

    "Look. I know it was 70 years ago, but..."

    Sigh, I feel a history lesson coming on...

    "Any nation that would support the rise of maniacal dictator, bend on the extermination of millions of innocent people, and stand idly by while that extermination was being conducted..."

    I assume you're talking about Germany here, but you better also include the USA, Britain, France, several industrialists and bankers that have limited sense of nationality, and the upper hierarchy of the Catholic Church amongst those you're describing. Please, please, please pay attention: The United States and Britain created and nourished Hitler to power, and not in some esoterical sense, they did it on purpose because they thought he would be a balance to communist Russia, end of story.

    "*These* Germans ARE mentally retarded, in the strictest sense of the word."

    No, they're EVIL. And part of a larger group, from whom they get their marching orders. The problem is our highest politicians ultimately work for the same group.

     

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  34.  
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    Thomas, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 7:02am

    Greetings from Germany

    First of all, yes, I was surprised when reading that, too. It doesn't make any sense what they are doing there, and yes, they are completely clueless. Welcome to the world of people we call "Internetausdrucker" hier in Germany (which means people printing out websites, mails and stuff for reading).

    "First of all, Google is a private company and can rank sites however it wants. It's an opinion of what Google feels is most relevant. If Google was not doing a good job, then people would go away."

    Hm, here I have to disagree. You have to know that there is absolutely nothing around Google with a market share of more than 90% in Germany. Nothing. Not Yahoo, not Bing, not ask.com or something else. So Google has a lot of powerbar, really a lot. And companies getting to powerful are easily going to abuse that power. I don't want to say that Google does right now. But on the other hand you can't claim it is a market thing. It isn't anymore. It has become a topic of the interests of the public. At least here in Germany.

     

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  35.  
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    C.K., Jan 20th, 2010 @ 7:17am

    German history

    Some sentences from Germany:
    To discuss all these things you should know that Germany has very hard laws to ensure that all publishing, tv and radio companies are more independent from commercial influences.
    These laws were made after WW II on request of U.S.A.
    The discussion here is not only a commercial aspect, it is a matter of unbiased information.

     

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  36.  
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    Jupp Müller, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Different to the US?

    I don't see the difference to the US, where Rupert Murdoch's News Corp owns most magazines, newspapers and radio stations.

    Murdoch also claims that Google is making money off their work and fails to see that it is entirely his choice to have his sites indexed by Google or not.

     

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  37.  
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    Gertman at Google, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: it gives me a headache

    Honestly. This answer is retarded.

    I am German. I work for Google. And I think that what you wrote is the most stupid thing I have read in ages.

    One thing is true: The Germans are afraid of being controlled and about giving away their privacy. So the internet poses a threat to them. Just you (I guess American by the way you write) would have had to live under two (Third Reich and GDR) dictatorships in the past century. So there is a natural fear of any government or company knowing and controlling to much.

    This is why Germans are skeptical about things like StreetView, Google Analytics and so on...

    On the newspaper topic IMHO the publisher's definitely make wrong assumptions, but that's not because they are German, but because they belong to an industry that has not arrived in the internet age yet. See Jeff Jarvis' buzzmachine for interesting articles on this. Same is true for e.g. the New York Times.

    So please keep your radical views to you and think before you write the next time. Thank you.

     

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    Hugo E. Martin, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 9:28am

    Look. I know it was 70 years ago, but...

    Please keep on commenting. It is very educational and gives me great inside about the curriculum of educational schools and institutes and socialization of commenter.

     

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  39.  
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    Jann, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    'Googled' Author Calls Sergey Brin an Idiot Savant

    It is hypocritical from google to expect that the content creators should give their content for free and self charging others for their AdWords product. here the video: http://bit.ly/8qz43Pt

     

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  40.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 11:05am

    Re: Rankings as Opinions

    but they don't have a right to mislead people. There was once a Hit Parade case where radio stations (or a radio station) broadcast rankings of songs based on music sales. It was touted as accurate, but turned out was simply fabricated. The same applies to Google -- if the tout their listings/rankings as accurate they should be accurate.

    Wow. That's totally different. The problem in the Hit Parade situation is the claim: that those were based on *sales* when they were not. If Hit Parade had said "these are the songs we think you'll like best" totally different situation.

    And that's exactly what Google does. It says "these are the links we think you'll like best." It makes no claim that the links are "the most popular".

     

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  41.  
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    Thorsten Günther, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 1:00am

    Re: Be nice to germans!

    @AMH: Google is not a danger "to Germans", and it is not "Germany" that sues Google. It's a newspaper lobbyist organization that does this, and it does it due to the fact that most Germans use Google on a daily basis and that they, as the original article so cleverly pointed out, are so inept at anything internet that some of them are (most prominently Springer Verlag) now desperately raising pay-walls on some of their sites (and ask payment for their iPhone apps). On the other hand, they sacked many reporters in the last few years as a cost-cutting measure and now are unable to provide the "quality content" that they want the money for, instead they are just publishing newswire and police reports, with some words altered.

    Thorsten

     

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    JTurner (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 1:32am

    German people and the Internet

    I am an American expat living in Germany and I can confirm that the majority of German people have a very strange conception of the Internet, and Google in particular.

    The level of fear, uncertainty, and doubt is way above that of other European countries. I think it has to do with the German psyche to be very suspicious and cautious about the merits of technological progress.

    German people always look to an authority to do their thinking for them. In case of the Internet, there is a guy in Germany called Frank Schirrmacher, who is a newspaper publisher (sic!) and recently has written an awfully misguided book about the dangers of the Internet. It is called Payback and was a best-seller in Germany. In this book, he outs himself as completely clueless about the Internet (he spells tweets "Tweeds", for example), but that doesn't keep him from speaking like he was a pundit. As his motivation behind the book is clear - he is afraid to lose his newspaper, it even more irritating on how serious Germans take his inane writings.

    I can recommend a very funny and intelligently written satire on this exact topic on this great blog:

    http://www.ichwerdeeinberliner.com/25-the-internet

    It nicely summarized the historic perception of the Internet by German people.

     

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  43.  
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    STK, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 1:39am

    Yes, we germans suck :)

    It is true, there are plans for a law to allow breaking up any company that has a monopoly position, even when it does not misuse it.
    But I don't think that Germany is able to break up Google, because it is after all an american company. They might be able to shut down the local german part, but that is all our country can do.
    Google company will leave our country, but that does not mean I cannot use google.com

    Comment 29 mentioned our system where we pay when we own a TV, radio or computer with internet access. This has nothing to do with what the publishers want. We pay that money to fund the german public broadcasting. They do not show ads usually, movies and series do not have commercial breaks. Contrary is the commercial broadcasting which does not get any of this money. They have much advertizing.
    Of course you can argue if this system is fair, because even when you only watch commercial programs you still have to pay for the public broadcasting channels. A completely different matter.

    Basically, what german publishers want, is a copyright on news. Everyone knows the copyrights for movies, music, books. But now they want to invent a new one for news.
    In Germany we have many companies/institutions that take care of copyrights. The most known copyright collective is the GEMA. Everytime someone uses a music track for public purposes, they have to pay a license fee. Every radio station has to pay those fees, even internet radios. So everytime you use music to make money (intentionally or unintentionally) you have to pay. Those companies do exist for many different things: music, movies, pictures, photos, art and so on.
    But currently there is nothing like that for news. Except quotation rights, which means you may quote parts of it with source but not just copy the whole news article. Google with its news aggregator uses this. It provides a link to the news site and shows maybe a sentence or two.
    Because Google shows advertisements while displaying the results, so it does earn money from it. So what it did in the eyes of our german publishers: it used their articles to make money.
    So they want that new law: If Google links their articles, Google has to pay a license.

    But there would be no need for such a law. Publishers earn money from the links because people click them and read the article, along with bright flashy ads. Else they would have applied the very simple solution to stop Google from accessing their sites that was already mentioned here: robots.txt

    I will give you an example what I mean: Two newspaper websites now offer paid content. If you want to read local and regional news or in the archives, you got to pay about 5€. But for Google, everything is free on those websites. So Google can index all the content and link it for free. But normal people have to pay for the content. (Unless they know how to change the UserAgent in the Browser).
    So, why did they allow Google to index their sites for free? Because Google generates them traffic which then generates money from the ads. Saying that Google steals them money is hypocritic.

    Germany does not need a new law. It needs new publishers :)

     

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  44.  
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    Hugo E. Martin, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 1:40am

    Germany's Rules on open competition

    I do not think Germany's rules protection fair competition are so bad. If a company has no competition and rules the market, they will be watched by the Bundeskartellamt (in USA that would be the job of the FTC). But what I think is queer, that the (could be, should be) competitions to GOOG asking the Bundeskartellamt to watch (and limit) Google, instead providing an intelligent and powerful competition for their own good.

     

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    proudgerman, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 1:54am

    we are leading edge not retard

    As you can see here: DLD schedule the Germans are leading the world again in forward thinking about the web, media and design. The best people from the US come to Germany to discuss the future: DLD Speakers

     

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    nbs, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 2:06am

    Re: I'll clear this up!

    A little late, but it would be

    "Google stellt einen Dienst zur Verfügung (gleichermassen suchenden und gesuchten), der über das anschauen von Werbung bezahlt wird."

    I just left out the F*$king duh, add "Sie sind ein dummer idot" if you like :P

    As Iam german i just wanted to state, not all germans are that retards. I guess every country has a few people missing what the internet is all about. Ask your RIAA for missed opportunities for example.

     

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    foobar, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 2:31am

    easy on the reigns

    "It's as if Germany doesn't want the internet at all."

    please, don't confuse "germany" with those publishers!
    and, after all, the dmca was genuinely a us idea ... didn't look like embracing the digital age either. (and if it comes to that: looking at the idea of "security" the us currently promote would make the former communist regimes in europe faint in awe and envy -- it is as if america doesn't want freedom at all).
    what those publishers do (and the german ones are not alone with that) is to renact the media industry's fight against the internet, but ten years later.
    they haven't learnt a bit (but then again, how long took it the media industry to learn even that little bit they learned), but at least they are not harassing consumers but a goliath like google.

     

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  48.  
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    Daniel, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 4:15am

    German publishers haven't shown any attemps to learn things about the internet and it's subculture. But US one's neither did: Lets talk about Rupert Murdoch ...

    Nevertheless, publishers just failed, weather they are german or not. The internet just seems to be to difficult.

    Best regards

     

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    SwENSKkE, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 4:56am

    Re: German people and the Internet

    Oh, you know the 'majority of german people'. You must have been around a lot in germany and a very communicative person.

    Or you're just talking out of your ass confirming things you simply CANNOT know.
    I even doubt you've ever been to germany - or if you were you haven't seen much more than the barracks you've been stationed at and all your knowledge comes from the blog you linked to. I know it - and it's neither a reliable source nor worth a recommendation.

     

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    jwo, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 6:18am

    German people and the internet

    "It's as if Germany doesn't want the internet at all."

    Sorry, that's bull shit. "Germany" - that means: the Germans - sure want the internet and use it as a daily part of normal life. Just one look at the statistics will show that.

    The traditional german publishers don't want the internet, because they do not understand it, they never did, and they know, that they do not have a easy future anymore cause they do not longer print the money. And, second, the german politicians do not want the internet, because they can not control it and so they can not control "their" people.

    It's that easy.

    We are publishing a german motor magazine only in the web, never had a printed version, are one of the five most visited car-sites in Germany - and that's a lot because of Google. 98 percent of our users will come to our reviews or data sheets by Google. And please: Give us more. We do not sell our content, we try to live by the ads on our site. We don't get millions - but, okay, it works more or less.

    So please notice: The article is correct from the first to the last word, it describes how german publishers think. But it is about (some of) the german publishers - not about the Germans.

     

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    _Flin_, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 6:55am

    It is sad

    This is just the level of incompetence concerning the internet one meets in Germany. And has done so since the existence of the net.

    - 15 years ago my Marketing Professor said: "Internet? Online Marketing? Bah, thats just the same as mail order business".
    - The newspapers say now and always have: "Internet? Bah, nothing can challenge the newspaper. We have quality journalism and noone wants to read on a screen anyway. How do you read on a screen at breakfast? Hah!"
    - 2 Newspapers just started to use pay-for-content models. They let their readers pay for content, but if you come from Google, the content is free
    - Biggest owner for classifieds in Germany is now Provider Deutsche Telekom, not the Publishers

    Bad thing is: This is what politicians are reading and basing their decisions on. We have a chasm of knowledge over here between digital natives and decision makers. Not even mentioning jurisdiction. Old guys and gals making and using old laws for a new world. One could talk for hours about stupidity and the internet in Germany.

    Only that the snootiness that everyone is so cool and irreplaceable has turned to pure fear and aggressive lobbying to keep sun orbiting the flat world.

    Which is really rather sad, when you think about it.

    Number of influential german internet companies: 0

     

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    Roland, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 7:18am

    Listen to CEO of Springer Corp vs. Arianna Huffington

    Hi everybody, I just stopped by from Hamburg, Germany. In fact, in Germany we have a heavy debate on that topic. Historically one should know, that the structurell German Media and Newspaper Business is quite different to U.S. which had not only been a disadvantage for our democracy. However, things are changing, as we all know. So, at least within the last decade, the business models of our newspaper companies have not been shifted to modern information business and share economy principles of the web.
    Now, it is too late and the cry for help sounds almost ridiculous indeed.

    Listen to interview with German CEO of Axel Springer and Arianna Huffington (november 2009)and enjoy. Old vs. new media and news business at it´s best...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar6pCxwtUBk

     

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  53.  
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    Der Bibliothekar, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: it gives me a headache

    Hey! Godwin's Law

    Besides, Lawyers who want to get money for senseless accusations aren't an "german-only" Problem...

    ps: It should be Deutsche. Not Deutsch.

     

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  54.  
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    Kand.in.Sky, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 9:51am

    hey guys, you know "german angst"? you fear what you dont know, you fight what you dont understand. this is of course typical for any nation but esp. for the krauts.
    so
    Well, there is nothing more to say about it.


    greetings from cologne,
    #k.

     

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  55.  
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    Scuba, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 10:32am

    I am just here to point out that not all Germans are that stupid^^

    @Führermann
    Sadly, the retards are allowed to vote :(

    Greetings from Germany

     

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  56.  
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    Timo, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 10:42am

    Did you know a German invented the Computer? German wikipedia is the second biggest? Open source and web devs are very often from Germany?

    Germans use the internet a lot, and dont fear it!
    Ok, Germans are a bit suspicious of losing privacy or similar (German Pirate Party is the second biggest afaik).

    This Anti-Google thing is just just some old fashioned publishers who want to earn the same piles of money they did years before. You can see the same with US and international publishers - or MPAA/RIAA/...

     

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  57.  
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    Patrick Woods, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 11:25am

    Don't confuse lobbyists with a nation or german web users.
    Germany usually is a bit slower to pick up new (consumer)technology than the US and to come up with new businesses but of course the web's as broadly used as in any other western country.
    Germany's web community is laughing at the publisher's lobbyism just as much as you are now.

     

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  58.  
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    Ralph, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 11:28am

    Re: Timo

    Hey Timo!
    No, German Pirate Party is not the second biggest. Of what by the way? The world? No, it's not. In Germany? No, it's not. In fact, it is one of the smallest.

    But their growth last year was bigger than any other party ever had in Germany... Guess why!?!

    Ralph
    (a geek from Germany)

     

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  59.  
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    ralfnausk, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Being a German and...

    the law to break up companies with a monopoly position is clearly aimed at one company only: The "Deutsche Post AG" (German Mail). A German law could not force a US company to break up because Google as a company is outside of German jurisdiction. A German court could not break up Google.

    as to the fees to be paid for public broadcasting, no publisher will see any of these. Thats why they also target public broadcasting and try to keep the public broadcasting out of the internet. because german publishers want to make money from that.

     

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  60.  
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    Timo, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Timo

    I'm not sure if the German Pirate Party is the second biggest in the world, but saying it isnt the second biggest in Germany...wait, that just doesnt make any sense. I think you didnt get what i meant. Just for you:

    The German "Pirate Party" is the second biggest "Pirate Party" (in the world) afaik. Get it NOW?

     

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  61.  
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    C.K., Jan 21st, 2010 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Timo

    A german invented the computer? Hmmmm...
    I think Alan Turing was the first one who built the computer in theory and Konrad Zuse was the one who built the first programmable computer. So it´s 1:1 ;-)

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 7:37pm

    it's not germans don't want the interwebz. it imposes that germany gets used by lobbyists more and more.

    theres the gema, the gez, the vg wort, the... everyone there cries and cries and wants more money.

    the bad thing is: many ppl cry! but it won't change anything cos they vote for the same parties.

    cdu (angela merkel), fdp (guido westerwelle) is government. will do shit.

    spd (frank walter steinmier) was government with cdu. were doing shit.

    green party with spd. did shit under schroeder.

    early 80s to mid 90s cdu governed. then spd governed. now its cdu again. it won't change! only about 2% of the ppl voted for pirate party (party for data security, transparency etc. thus against lobbyism and dumb propaganda).

    it is pretty sick. and the thing is: you can't do nothing against it! 80 million ppl. guess 5% or so are kind of intelligent. rest is crying, voting bullshit, living hedonist live. not caring about politics so that fuxx that do propaganda and shid go up eeeverytime.

    you know what they say? "ok it went shit. but let's not vote other parties or try a change cos they did not tell how to not do shit. so we stick to the shit we know.".

    let me tell u one thing: the last years things got worse. working politics, social politics. it will get even worse with health politics. different courts often have total opposed jurisdiction. especially in questions of the interwebz! this makes people uncertain!

    more and more people can't tell what their true rights are in cases of it/internet/commercial. small to medium people are affected by competition laws which are fukkn open to interpretation. thus "little" people trying to expand commercially need to get to court or sign "contracts against there will to avoid contracts" (cease and desist orders, binding).

    let me say it again: it is all fukked! lobby, freedom of speech, interpretable laws, deadlocked votes, same political parties, propaganda at it's best.

    no fun!

    damn sheeps.

    ps: i thank the international press to take these lobbyheads into account and laugh at them in a way most german citizens have unlearnt cos they live there tiny lives not understanding the whole issue.

    u know what? it needed one man of the netherlands (rob savelberg) under a bunch of journalists to ask angela merkel if she was ok with a secretary of finance that was and still is under suspicion to have taken 100.000 dmark from some lobbyist. she said "i truely trust mr schäuble." savelberg said sth. like. "so... is that all? i mean...". merkel: "i have said all.".

    german journalism. hah! needed a dutchman to show the germans what fuxx there are! by the way: schäuble (secretary of finance) was last government period 2009 and back secretary of interior which propagated the computer trojan used by authorities. former secretary of family propagated internet censorship in germany and is now secretary for working and social.

    good night germany! longe live propaganda! it worked 60 years ago, and as history repeats, it will do work again! short lives the memory of the people. "give them problems so they don't fight us!" fits.

     

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  63.  
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    Christian, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 11:17pm

    Media awareness?

    Ahem... do you realize that, especially when media are concerned, concentration is not a good thing? Just take a look at the US media landscape - it's ridiculous. You go on and watch Fox News. And no, the blogosphere is not a substitute to quality journalism.

    And since Google's news aggregation is posing a threat to diversity, Furmann does have a point, even if he's admittedly pretty un-2.0.

     

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  64.  
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    Haha, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 11:46pm

    POOR AMERICANS

    you know nothing, you little little little people without history. (when did you start 1492?) haha.

     

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  65.  
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    Stephan, Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 1:59am

    the discussion in Germany has been far deeper and more sophisticated.

    the main problem is, as reported here, an economic one. Though you have to understand the proposition of German media business which is protected by German constitution as publishers are seen as an essential part of a democratic society. For decades, they more or less were the only ones to offer advertising space, and the money made they used to pay professional journalist. with the rise of Google and other web players huge parts of that market have been dragged away from the publishers and journalists. So in Germany the discussion is: Who is going to pay for professional journalism now given the fact the customer, who get´s everything for free in the internet, is not willing to pay? As in the US, there doesn´t seem to be a business model for publishers at the moment, but in contrast to the US, in Europe people are prepared to discuss regulation in order to keep journalism alive.

     

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    Johannes, Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 2:12am

    BDZV is NOT Germany ;)

    "It's as if Germany doesn't want the internet at all."

    Well, the BDZV - that association, Hans-Joachim Fuhrmann speaks for - is not Germany. MAYBE the BDZV doesn't want the internet. Germany does.

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 4:52pm

    ahaa, sehr interessant.
    worum geht es hier? als ob deutsche kein internet wollen haha

     

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  68.  
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    Will, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 11:52am

    Sergey Brin is an ugly cretin with an equally ugly cretin wife. Sergey's parents are inbred Russian peasants who never should have "fucked." Look at the insane, psychopathic criminal they produced! Sergey Brin is going to end up spending the rest of his pitiful life in jail. If the Australians don't get him, the Germans will. If the Germans don't get him, the Canadians will. All the major countries in the world have opened criminal investigations of Google! Google -- the cowardly international crime syndicate run by an ugly, deformed miscreant -- Sergey Brin. I hope he gets in a lot of good cock sucking from his horrifically ugly wife (a repulsive Russian whore) before he is sentenced to life in prison. Looks like the United States may be lining up to also serve him with jail time. His partner Larry Paige (you know, the one with the disgustingly strange mouth and teeth) will just have to suck Eric Goldman's cock until Google dies a gruesome death. It is hard to say who is ugliest, Sergey Brin, Eric Goldman, or Larry Paige, but they all are congenitally ugly. Sergey, I hope you like prison food because you will be regurgitating it for the rest of your pathetic existence! I hope the thirty states in the U.S. conducting criminal investigations of Google expose all the ugly dope on Sergey Brin, Eric Golcman, and Larry Paige.

     

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  69.  
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    bartending guides, Sep 2nd, 2010 @ 4:56am

    fgghjgj

    Yes I agree with u. I felt great while going through your article. And I will be looking forward to see more of this kind of appealing writings.

    bartending guides

     

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  70.  
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    Cannondale Mountain Bikes, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: Yup!

    These are the people who's changing everything, the many genius behind the internet.

     

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