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German publishers give in to Google’s news snippets “blackmail” for now

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German publishers who recently accused Google of blackmail for threatening to stop listing their stories in Google News – after they tried for years to wrangle copyright cash out of Google for using their snippets and thumbnails – have relented, for now at least. On Wednesday, their collection agency, VG Media, said it was giving Google “revocable” consent to freely reproduce this content in Google News. VG Media said (PDF) the publishers were “forced to take this extraordinary step, given the overwhelming market power of Google.” True, Google has the vast majority of the German search market, but even German web portals have stopped listing snippets from the publishers, including Axel Springer, because of their copyright threats.

One Response to “German publishers give in to Google’s news snippets “blackmail” for now”

  1. Anonymous

    “Let’s try to sue for more money than we make from the free and legal advertisement!”
    “It’s not working! We’re just losing revenue from the free traffic we were getting!”
    “Let them advertise us for free again!”

    Sometimes the Germans are pretty spot on (EG: privacy laws) but some of their businesses are rather stupid.