French Publishers Want In On German Plan To Force Everyone To Pay To Link To News

from the this-won't-end-well dept

We’ve been following (for years) this ridiculous German proposal to make sites that link to and/or excerpt tidbits from news websites to have to pay for the privilege of sending traffic to the sites. While it’s a spectacularly short-sighted proposal that will lead to significant problems and costs (without much real benefit), it’s no surprise that publishers in other countries are getting jealous and are seeking to get the same sort of deal. Apparently, the fact that this proposal is gaining steam in Germany has emboldened French publishers to start seeking similar rights in France with which they could demand that Google pay newspapers for linking to their stories with a snippet. In other words, these publishers see a chance at a cash cow from actual innovators, right into their pockets, if they can just convince the government that “well, Germany’s doing it!!!”

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Comments on “French Publishers Want In On German Plan To Force Everyone To Pay To Link To News”

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Sneeje (profile) says:

Re: And Google is in a catch 22

robots.txt already allows them to opt out.

And, it seems to me that most folks forget that in a competitive market, voids tend to be reacted to as opportunities for new or existing players. Given that, I doubt that the amount of news available via search engines will diminish, but simply shift to new and emerging sources.

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Re: Re: And Google is in a catch 22

Google even gives out the commands to put in robots.txt so that they won’t index the files.

Didn’t Holland try a court-imposed version of this idea. If I recall correctly, it the newspapers that originally sued Google to exclude them ended up suing Google again demanding that they be let back in after their traffic plummeted.

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Re: Re:

>>They are writing news stories about the world I live in. I demand compensation.

Actually, this point has been raised before. Should newspapers be required to pay people or companies when the people do something newsworthy and the papers write stories about them? After all, aren’t the newspapers freeloading on action performed by other people? It sounds crazy, but not really much worse that what a lot of the folks in the IP industry try to claim from time to time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

That is exactly what I was thinking. I thought that Google had the upper hand on these sites anyway, so it would be complete suicide for the news media to do this unless they think they have enough users and that they do not need more, like ever. Only way for them to gain attention would be through ads on sites like google and then we are back to expensive industry is expensive thinking.

TasMot (profile) says:

Google Should Fire a Warning Shot

In the old days (you know, the ones the old folks like to remember) the pirates would fire a warning shot to let the victims know what’s going to happen. Just to shut them up, Google should let them know when and then take them out for a week or two. If they like the reduction in traffic, then Google could just leave them out permanently. It would save a lot of time and money in the courts.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

One of the things I love about the trolls is their bitching about people getting things for “free” on a commenting system they didn’t pay for. On a website they don’t pay for. Using protocols and server software they didn’t pay for. Using a browser they didn’t pay for. The website most likely being something they found through a link, search engine result or something else they didn’t pay for…

Why, it’s almost as if value can be generated by something that doesn’t need an immediate upfront payment!

Anonymous Coward says:

so, do those using links get any financial reward? do the sites that are linked to get any financial reward? if not, what is the complaint? if yes and the publishers want to be greedy about things and get paid for doing nothing, just like the entertainment industries, i would loose out myself to ensure they got nothing either. after all, we’re talking about links here, not full reporting.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Is the real reason behind this another legacy industry who refuses to adapt trying to force the law to keep them in business?
Exporting our insane IP ideas around the world, demanding payments from successful players who adapt to the new market so the legacy players can forestall having to even consider new ideas for another few decades at the expense of a few upstarts.

Dixon Steele (profile) says:

But just referring to news reports would still be legal, right? Since you can’t have a copyright on the true events being reported, just the story as written? So the obvious solution for aggregator sites would be to reference the stories without providing links, keeping all the traffic for themselves and giving none to the original sources.
Keep fighting the good fight, publishers.

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