Under Germany’s new ancillary copyright bill (the “Bill”), the country is seeking to allow newspaper publishers to charge royalty fees from internet search engine companies for displaying links to their articles. Search engine leader, Google Inc. warned that it would stage an internet news blackout to oppose the new bill. If the Bill passes, newspaper and magazine publishers would have the right to stop violators who refuse to pay royalties for linking to their articles.
Other European countries such as France and Italy were interested in following Germany’s initiative because of the potential tax revenues these countries would earn from the proposed royalty fees.
Opponents of the Bill state that the Bill would disrupt the free flow of information on the internet. A public hearing looks set to take place in early 2013.
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