Google hints shutting down Google News over EU’s implementation of Article 11 or the “link tax”

458475271

Last week, The Guardian reported that Google may shut down Google News in Europe if the “link tax” is implemented in a way that the company has to pay news publishers. According to the “link tax” or Article 11, news publishers must receive a fair and proportionate remuneration for their publications by the information society service providers.

The vice president of Google News, Richard Gingras expressed his concern regarding the proposal and told The Guardian that the discontinuation of the news service in Europe will depend on the final verdict, “We can’t make a decision until we see the final language.”

The first draft of the “link tax”, or more formally, Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was first issued in 2016. After several revisions and discussions, it was approved by the European Parliament on 12 September 2018. And, now a formal trilogue discussion with the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament is initiated to reach the final decision. The conclusion of this discussion is expected to be announced in January 2019.

Another part of the proposed directive, Article 13 is designed to ensure content creators are paid for material uploaded to sites such as the Google-owned YouTube. Article 11 and Article 13 have faced a lot of criticism since the directive was proposed. Mr. Gingras further said that when in 2014 the Spanish government attempted to charge a link tax on Google, the company responded by shutting down Google News in the country. It also removed Spanish newspapers from the service internationally. This resulted in a tremendous fall in traffic to Spanish news websites. “We would not like to see that happen in Europe,” Gingras added.

Julia Reda, an MEP, however, believes that this “link tax” will not be as extreme as the link tax implemented in Spain, where Google was required to pay publishers even if they didn’t want to be paid. “What we think is more likely is that publishers will have the choice to ask for Google to pay or not,” she told WIRED.

To know more in detail about Google’s response towards the link tax, read the full story on The Guardian.

Europe’s Court of Justice rules that hyperlinking can infringe on copyright

EuropeanCommissionEuropa

On Thursday, the Dutch publisher of Playboy won a major legal victory concerning photographs that had been uploaded to the internet without its permission on a file sharing site. The ruling handed down by the European Union Court of Justice could have enormous consequences for users across the internet.

The case stemmed from a complaint against a Dutch website called GeenStijl, which had posted links to leaked photos from Playboy in October 2011. The website had received a tip that the pictures had been uploaded to FileFactory. It posted a cutout of one of the images and linked to the rest. Sanoma Media, Playboy’s Dutch publisher, requested that content be removed, which GeenStijl refused to do. Sanoma then sued the GeenStijl and its parent company, GS Media, arguing that the hyperlink and part of one of the images infringed on its copyright. The case found itself before the EU court, which ruled that posting hyperlinks amounted to copyright infringement, because the website profited from the traffic that it generated.

The court noted in its ruling that the website’s editors knew that the works had yet to be published in the print magazine and that its distribution through FileFactory was unauthorized. "Whoever post[ed] those links knew or ought to have been aware of those facts and the fact that that rightholder did not consent to the publication of the works in question on that latter website."

They key point in this case comes down to the phrase "Communication to the public of their works" in Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29, On the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society:

Member States shall provide authors with the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit any communication to the public of their works, by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of their works in such a way that members of the public may access them from a place and at a time individually chosen by them.

The court noted that the directive does not define "communication to the public", but that EU laws do work to protect the rights of copyright owners. It also surmised that those seeking to communicate to the public must make a judgment call as to the ethical nature of what they’re doing: balancing legitimate news against copyright infringement.

Advertsing

125X125_06





MonthList

CommentList