30 Nov 2012

Online battle brewing over newspaper clippings

12:28 pm on 30 November 2012

A global battle is brewing between Google and publishing companies who say they should be paid for extracts of newspaper articles displayed in search results.

The Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament, is debating a new law that would give publishers much stronger copyright protection online.

The debate is over whether Google should be paid for producing the link that directs the reader to the paper or whether Google itself pay because it is using the newspaper to sell advertising on its sites.

Google argues that as news migrates from papers to computer screens its putting more readers in touch with more newspapers.

Google Germany spokesman Ralf Bremer said that the company is providing a valuable service for publishers, with 100,000 clicks per minute.

The debate in Germany is important because if Google has to pay to link readers to papers then the business model for papers could change.

It means papers may be able to find an easier way of getting people to pay for the news.