Menu
EU to quiz German government over online copyright bill

EU to quiz German government over online copyright bill

After receiving complaints, the Commission will ask Germany for further information

Comments

The European Commission will ask the German government to explain more about a draft bill that aims to protect publishers against systematic access to copyright content by search engine providers such as Google.

The Commission was informed of the draft legislation by "some complainants," Commission spokesman Carlo Corazza said in an email Wednesday. After analyzing the complaints, the Commission decided to seek more information from Germany, he said.

The German Bundestag, Germany's lower house, last Friday adopted a bill that would give publishers the exclusive right to make commercial use of their publications on the Internet and allow them to determine the conditions under which search engines and content aggregators use their content.

Initially, publishers wanted to be able to charge search engines for publishing short text snippets. But the bill was watered down by a legislative committee before the vote in the Bundestag, making it unclear what the impact of the bill would be if it becomes law.

The bill approved by the lower house now states that publishers have the exclusive right to commercialize their products or parts thereof, except in the case of single words or very small text snippet. Those changes were welcomed by Google, which said that the "most damaging form" of the proposed law had been stopped.

The bill still has to be approved by the Bundesrat, Germany's upper house, to become law.

Google did not respond to a request for comment on the Commission's decision to seek more information.

While Google's reaction was mildly positive, the bill was also welcomed by publishers who said that while not all ideas were considered in the adopted text, it did close a legal loophole. The bill would give them a "fair instrument" to decide what search engines and aggregators can do with their content, the publishers said at the time.

Before the bill was approved by the lower house, its compliance with E.U. regulation was doubted by Siegfried Kauder, head of the legal affairs committee that prepared the bill and Bundestag representative for the CDU party. The proposed law should have been presented in Brussels so that other E.U. countries could comment on it, he said.

The Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment about possible actions it could take. But according to a European directive that lays down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards, member must notify the Commission of draft technical rules so other states and the Commission can comment on them. This procedure could halt the adoption process for 18 months.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the ARN newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googleintellectual propertycopyrightlegallegislationgovernmentinternetsearch engines

Upcoming

Slideshows

IN PICTURES: Nutanix's .NEXT channel event in Sydney (+20 photos)

IN PICTURES: Nutanix's .NEXT channel event in Sydney (+20 photos)

Nutanix recently held its customer and channel event, .NEXT, in Sydney. The event, held at the Sheraton on the Park saw attendance from more than 150 channel and technology partners and customers. It was the first in a series of events Nutanix is holding in A/NZ in August and September, the objective of which is to brief partners and customers on “what’s next” in the design and management of datacentre technology.

IN PICTURES: Nutanix's .NEXT channel event in Sydney (+20 photos)
IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 sponsor debrief (+23 photos)

IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 sponsor debrief (+23 photos)

Some of the sponsors of ARN's inaugural EDGE 2015 event got together at the ARN office for a debrieef of the event. Over some drinks and cheese, these attendees got an update on some key statistics that arose from the EDGE event and discussed potential topics and improvements that can be made at next year's event.

IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 sponsor debrief (+23 photos)
IN PICTURES: ARN Distributor Roundtable, Sydney, 26.08.15 (+26 photos)

IN PICTURES: ARN Distributor Roundtable, Sydney, 26.08.15 (+26 photos)

ARN hosted a distributor roundtable at Cafe Del Mar in Sydney, at which attendees and their partners discussed the changing role of the traditional IT distributor. They spoke about the challenges of digital disruption, the blurring lines of the channel in the age of digital transformation, and examined the ever-evolving business models. This roundtable was sponsored by Distribution Central, Exclusive Networks, Rhipe, and Hemisphere Technologies. Photos by ARN Editorial Director, Mike Gee.

IN PICTURES: ARN Distributor Roundtable, Sydney, 26.08.15 (+26 photos)

iasset.com is a channel management ecosystem that automates all major aspects of the entire sales, marketing and service process, including data tracking, integrated learning, knowledge management and product lifecycle management.

Show Comments