Failures

by Glyn Moody


Filed Under:
copyright, eu, europe, google tax, gunther oettinger, snippets

Companies:
google



Europe's New Digital Commissioner Explores Imposing An EU-Wide 'Google Tax'

from the not-learning-from-experience dept

Last week, Techdirt reported on the humiliating and inevitable climbdown by German publishers in their attempt to force Google to pay for daring to drive traffic to their sites by using snippets from their publications. Despite that abject failure, it seems that the European Union's new commissioner for the digital realm, Günther Oettinger, is thinking about bringing in exactly the same misguided idea across the whole of the European Union, as the Handelsblatt newspaper reports (translation by Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda):
When Google is taking intellectual works from within the EU and using them, then the EU has to protect those works and demand a tax from Google.
Coming from the person who is charged with reforming European copyright, this does not augur well. If Oettinger really thinks that such a tax is the way forward for copyright in the digital age, he is evidently as clueless about the Internet as everyone feared he was, after telling the European Parliament that celebrities storing nude pictures online are stupid.

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  • identicon
    David, 28 Oct 2014 @ 12:48pm

    Wow, let's just de-index all Europe newspapers

    Well, I guess except maybe Germany. They already figured it out.

    Of course, these people wanting Google to pay a tax are also spending a lot of time/money on SEO to get Google to rank their content, too, right? Well, throw that money in the toilet when Google de-indexes you rather than pay that tax.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 12:59pm

      Re: Wow, let's just de-index all Europe newspapers

      Well, throw that money in the toilet when Google de-indexes you rather than pay that tax.

      Google may have no choice if the tax is made mandatory, which is what government tend to do.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 1:05pm

        Re: Re: Wow, let's just de-index all Europe newspapers

        From the quote, they'd be demanding the tax for Google's use of EU intellectual property... so the solution would seem to be to not use any. No property being used, no tax.

        Then another search engine would step in and become dominant in Europe... but then the tax would be demanded of them and the cycle would repeat itself.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Designerfx (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 1:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wow, let's just de-index all Europe newspapers

          The fact that they'd be treating intellectual property as (property) spins a lot of things in many ways backwards.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 1:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wow, let's just de-index all Europe newspapers

          Oh I get the feeling quote or not, they'll likely try to word the thing so that even doing business at all in the EU will mean Google will be forced to pay the tax, no matter what they do.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Designerfx (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 2:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow, let's just de-index all Europe newspapers

            It's kinda silly. They're trying to extract blood from a turnip. They should target all internet businesses based in the US except oh wait! That would actually be even more of a pain in the ass, wouldn't it.

            Blatant moneygrabs are ridiculous.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          techflaws (profile), 29 Oct 2014 @ 12:00am

          Re: Re: Re: Wow, let's just de-index all Europe newspapers

          No property being used, no tax.

          Or not. The German publishers gave Google a revocable license to use their content only to continue their fight in pinning monopoly charges on them. With politicians susceptible to this bullshit, there's a lot of damage to be expected.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        bob, 28 Oct 2014 @ 2:56pm

        don't de-index, turn it on its head!

        Would it make sense for google to be pro-active and send the various newspapers a notice that due to the fact that they are in the EU, and due to EU IP stance, Google requires each of the newspapers to pay google a fee to be included in the google SEO search results, the contract of course includes wording that allows google to index the pages the papers are paying to show in google SEO results.
        seems to solve IP problems, side steps an indexing tax for the IP, and grants EU papers the ability to control what google indexes and what it doesn't from their sites.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 29 Oct 2014 @ 12:37am

          Re: don't de-index, turn it on its head!

          Yeah, right. Remember - having links in their index is "stealing" from them, but removing the links to comply is "extortion". That's an actual argument used by these people when they provide a free service, they wouldn't lie down and accept a paid one.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TJ, 28 Oct 2014 @ 1:01pm

    Next up, Google Geo-blocks all of Europe for a week.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 1:06pm

    The commission is a joke. Most people have no idea what they should be doing and they are choosen simply for their political affiliation. Basically if they dont like the face of someone they will not allow him/her in.
    I dont know if the EU has always been like this but right now things are pretty fukken weird

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 10:11pm

      Re:

      The face-thing has been going since at least the 90's. Before that things were so corrupt that it didn't matter.

      The reality is that the politicians cannot do anything without securing enough accept from lobbyists. Lobbyists are the people running the circus in the parliament. In terms of google taxation it is a logical consequence of very limited economic capacity for the true grassroots supporting a free internet. The only thing that could loosen the noose around the politicians heads are forcible breakups of advertisement from Googles other services.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Trevor, 28 Oct 2014 @ 1:43pm

    So in 2015 when this is passed and Google stops linking to EU works, leaving Bing as the only player in town, will Bing have to pay the "Google" tax (as it will most likely be named)?

    How embarrassing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zonker, 28 Oct 2014 @ 1:43pm

    Hey EU, if you don't want people to find your websites and view content on them then why the fuck do you post anything on your publicly accessible websites in the fucking first place?

    It seems that if the EU had a stupidity tax, the entire government would be bankrupt in less than five seconds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 1:59pm

    Remember that this is coming from the unelected European Commission, rather than the European Parliament or the Union itself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      DogBreath, 28 Oct 2014 @ 6:49pm

      Re:

      Elected or Unelected, who cares? Stupidity is stupidity and it should be called out when it is rears its ugly head.

      I say this because no matter who wants to cut off their own nose to spite their face, stupid ideas have a way of becoming stupid laws, and we all end up paying for it if we don't speak up now.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 2:01pm

    "When Google is taking intellectual works from within the EU and using them, then the EU has to protect those works and demand a tax from Google."

    Haha! If it were just that then it wouldn't be a true Oettinger!
    The Handelsblatt also write:
    "A copyright fee would not only be paid by EU citizens but also by US companies like Google."
    (note: work on translation skills)

    So every EU citizen has to pay the tax because you know... you might infringe on something...somehow. But given (at least in Germany) we pay taxes for most sorts of storage(hd,usb,sdd...), printers and all the various discs and are still not allowed to copy anything, I assume even if all europeans pay the tax you still might not be allowed to copy the things you paid the tax for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      DogBreath, 28 Oct 2014 @ 6:58pm

      Re:

      I assume even if all europeans pay the tax you still might not be allowed to copy the things you paid the tax for.

      If you think about it, it's really an all-around good deal. Just think of all the satisfaction and the sleep you'll be able to get at night knowing even if you somehow did commit an intellectual property offense, at least they couldn't stick it to you for tax evasion.

      /s

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 2:13pm

    Protect those works....by making sure less people view them, unless money is involved

    Now which word in that sentence do you think this beaurocrat really cares about

    Call it what it is, corporate law........laws for profit.......what kind of people are being elected

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 2:18pm

    So the local thugs have found another squeeze.......how civilized of them

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    bob, 28 Oct 2014 @ 2:33pm

    Why Isn't TechDirt Celebrating This?

    From the beginning, the message has been simple: copyright is horrible and we need to explore other mechanisms. Well, this is one of those mechanisms. People can download forever and pretend that the content is free. Then they pay some monthly Netflix-like fee, but to the government. Sure, they have no choice, but let's not get too obsessed with that point. Everyone around here has been demonizing Hollywood and the "MaFIAAA" forever. Why are we going Tea Party and demonizing government?

    Yah gotta pay for the artists somehow. You either pay them piecemeal and you let society pay in bulk. Personally I like having the people direct their dollars to their favorite artists instead of letting some bureaucracy, but I get shouted down around here when I suggest that copyright is pretty cool.

    Well, suck it up TechDirt. This is your DREAM come true. You've been saying that innovative schemes like this are just around the corner. Well, they're here now. Why aren't you dancing??????

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 2:44pm

      Re: Why Isn't TechDirt Celebrating This?

      Moron

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 3:37pm

      Strawman Bob Strikes Again

      You're either being disingenuous and/or ignorant. You're conflating a tax on Google "using" EU IP, which is to say, Google includes brief blurbs of articles in order to drive traffic towards the publishers, with the idea of a public fund for the arts with all content produced by that fund being public domain.

      If you think or want to pretend for the sake of your jeers that such a tax would make the content legally free or practically free regardless of its legal status, you're being too consumed by your desire to be negative here to think straight.

      If you think IP holders would ever accept any amount of a tax as the maximum limit of what they could charge for a product, you're still being silly.

      How any government tax scheme to force Google to pay for giving publishers business translates into free content for the people and more money for the artists (instead of the publishers) is beyond me. I guess Bob's world is much more fast and loose with practical reality and filled with Techdirt voodoo dolls and dartboards.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 4:09pm

      Re: Why Isn't TechDirt Celebrating This?

      That IP could be as simple as a news headline.

      Think on that, and see why this proposal is about as sane as giving people with nut allergies free nuts.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      steell (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 4:12pm

      Re: Why Isn't TechDirt Celebrating This?

      Why in the world do you come here and exhibit your lack of intellectual prowess? Do you just have a driving need to show people just how stupid you are?
      I guess I'm just not smart enough to figure out how you can be so ridiculously ignorant.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 29 Oct 2014 @ 12:48am

      Re: Why Isn't TechDirt Celebrating This?

      It's incredible that someone who has been reading and commenting here for so many years can lack even the most basic understanding of the actual opinions often posted here. You are honestly delusional.

      "I get shouted down around here when I suggest that copyright is pretty cool."

      Probably because you're one of the idiots who starts falsely accusing those you address of criminal activity. Maybe if you listened once in a while, you're realise that the complete abolition of copyright is not an aim of most people who comment here.

      Copyright can be pretty cool if used correctly. The current system is broken, the terms terrible and the enforcement methods both unworkable and counter-productive while attacking innocent people. the suggestions here are usually ways to enforce and reform copyright to something both effective and fair.

      That you can't understand why is a great indication of how much you read the actual opinions posted here. Strawmen are cool as well though, huh?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2014 @ 2:07am

      Re:

      You keep confusing "innovative" with "pulling shit out your ass".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 3:18pm

    Two points

    1) Does this tax affect only search engines such as Bing or is this the usual "Google = The Internet" tax?

    2) How long will it take for Google decide it's not worth the hassle to put up with all this nonsense? They should just block all IP address in the EU and put up a page saying "Sorry, your lawmakers don't want us in the EU. Please get them to change the laws or use a VPN in the US."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 6:21pm

    Yo Mr. Oettinger, don't you know that infringing someone's intellectual property without paying them is a crime? You stole that "get Google to pay us" idea from some German news organizations. Pay up, pal!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 9:28pm

      Re:

      The dumbest part is that he's stealing the idea, but couldn't be bothered to notice how it played out.

      I predict that after Google simply removes all links in Europe from its results, that this will be the shortest tax in history.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    techflaws (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 11:55pm

    Sigh, that's what you get when you let the inmates run the asylum.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    aldo watts, 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:47pm

    tax google out of the search biz

    Google in their relentless pursuit of profits has managed to transform the web into a bait site garbage pile.plus their search quit being the best eons ago. I avoid everything they have anything to do with as much as possible.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 31 Oct 2014 @ 12:52am

      Re: tax google out of the search biz

      "Google in their relentless pursuit of profits has managed to transform the web into a bait site garbage pile"

      So, which magical search engine do you use that's not only better than Google's offerings, but whose search algorithms aren't used by companies trying to increase their traffic through link bait (that's right - the "bait site garbage" are provided by those sites, not Google). if it's as good as you say, why not recommend them?

      Seriously, stop whining about Google and tell us what's better. Google got to where they are because they were better, not because people whined about Altavista until people changed just because.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2014 @ 3:24pm

    The current internet is rotten.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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