Google parks panzers on Germany's lawn over 'link tax' plan
Geld spricht, Stier Scheiße Wanderungen
Google is attacking Germany's politicos in an effort to prevent the country's Parliament from passing a copyright law in the country that would force search engines to pay publishers for running links to newspaper stories.
The world's largest ad broker is lobbying hard against the so-called ancillary copyright law by moaning about it online.
A campaign with the slightly Google Translate mangled name of "Want to find in the future, what you seek?" - which the Chocolate Factory claims to be all about protecting the web - is basically telling Germans that news could become more difficult to seek out if such a bill was passed by the Bundestag.
Google is also hoping to get lots of German citizens, who are arguably more sensitive about their privacy than many other Europeans, to sign an online petition opposing the proposed legislation in the hope that this will help parliamentarians to reject the bill.
Politicians are expected to debate the planned law in the Bundestag on Thursday, according to the Financial Times.
Google appears to be stepping up its effort to crowdsource support by creating campaign websites alongside online petitions.
Last week, it lobbied against meetings organised by the International Telecommunications Union. The company claimed that some of the proposals to overhaul the 1988 communications treaty could be bad news for free speech. In reality, it could be more of an issue for Google's bottom line, as it might be forced to pay for more stuff. ®
So, uhm, Google (and presumably Yahoo, Bing et al) would have to pay the publisher.. to drive traffic toward the publisher?
Something wrong here.
If I was Google
I would comply with the law, removing all links to any German media site, showing a page that explains the issue, and then offer a link that diverts all the searches to UK/France/Spain/Italy, etc newspapers
The German businessmen who came with this stupid idea in the first place would be the first to cry for Google to restore the linking.
This would be equivalent to being required to pay a tax for pointing at a newspaper and saying "there's a story in there about the big event that happened yesterday".