German Publishers Grant Google A 'Free License' Google Never Needed To Post News Snippets
from the well-that-solves-that dept
Remember earlier this year when German newspaper publishers, led by rights management firm VG Media, demanded Google pay them a massive amount of money (11% of all ad revenue on any page linking to their works) for having the gall to send those publishers traffic via Google News? VG Media insisted that Google’s use of “snippets” was illegal. German regulators rejected this demand, but VG Media was still pursuing legal efforts to force Google to pay. Given that, Google did what made the most sense and removed the snippets for VG Media associated publishers. You’d think that this would make VG Media happy. Instead, it claimed that Google was engaged in “blackmail.”
Yes, VG Media claimed that using snippets was illegal, but getting rid of them was “blackmail.” The logic of a legacy industry.
Taking that logic one step further, VG Media has now decided to (and I’m not making this up) grant Google a “free license” to let Google use the snippets. This whole thing was about money in the first place, and now VG Media isn’t getting any money… and it looks ridiculous and foolish for having tried this in the first place. The end result is the same: snippets are in Google News, VG Media publications are getting traffic, but VG Media has made itself look silly.