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Germany: Bundestag adopts 'google tax' bill00:40

Germany: Bundestag adopts 'google tax' bill

Germany, Berlin
March 1, 2013 at 18:12 GMT +00:00 · Published

Germany: Bundestag adopts 'google tax' bill

Activists congregated at the German parliament, the Bundestag on Friday to protest an appendage to German copyright law, which potentially limits web browsing freedoms. Demonstrators brandished posters and banners, as parliamentarians in Germany's lower house presided over the bill, which mandates that websites and search engines must pay publishing houses to re-post their content.

Opponents to the bill see the proposed law as a danger to the free flow of information as search engines, including leaders Google and Bing, will have to pay for each result rendered by a search.

The legislation won a 294 majority in the 539 member lower house, but still requires a majority in the upper house, the Bundesrat, before it can be enshrined in law. Control of the Bundesrat by the German opposition raises doubts over whether the bill will win a voter majority when it is tabled for discussion again on 22 March.

Since 2009, major publishing houses and media companies have lobbied against online search tools, which enable websites to profit from using their intellectual property for free. Although they don't want to cut the search engine out of the equation completely, they demand a share of the earnings.

Germany: Bundestag adopts 'google tax' bill00:40
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Germany: Bundestag adopts 'google tax' bill

Activists congregated at the German parliament, the Bundestag on Friday to protest an appendage to German copyright law, which potentially limits web browsing freedoms. Demonstrators brandished posters and banners, as parliamentarians in Germany's lower house presided over the bill, which mandates that websites and search engines must pay publishing houses to re-post their content.

Opponents to the bill see the proposed law as a danger to the free flow of information as search engines, including leaders Google and Bing, will have to pay for each result rendered by a search.

The legislation won a 294 majority in the 539 member lower house, but still requires a majority in the upper house, the Bundesrat, before it can be enshrined in law. Control of the Bundesrat by the German opposition raises doubts over whether the bill will win a voter majority when it is tabled for discussion again on 22 March.

Since 2009, major publishing houses and media companies have lobbied against online search tools, which enable websites to profit from using their intellectual property for free. Although they don't want to cut the search engine out of the equation completely, they demand a share of the earnings.

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