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.
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