Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Google German Tax

This takes a minute or two to explain in detail.  There's been a anti-Google effort going on in Germany for the last three or four years.  There are various parts of the Google engine that have upset Germans to some degree.

Currently, the tax discussion is going on.  In the Bundestag....the German Parliament....there's a bill being passed around.  The deal is this....anytime that Google uses some German news article or picture....Google would pay for the link to that picture or German newspaper article.  The amount?  Still under discussion.

At present, the bill got passed to the legal committee to discuss the implications.  It could sit there for a month....it could sit there for a year.

For Google, if a law like this was implemented....it'd likely force the company into a rare show of force.  No photo from a German commerical site would ever be shown via Google....my humble guess here.  Newspaper articles?  There would be strictly a title of the newspaper....and likely nothing else.

If anyone....from Italy or France, or Japan....were searching for updates or business news in Germany....you'd have virtually no ability to search and find the article.  Most other search engines would quickly take the same actions.

I'd take this humble guess that a month would pass and some political folks would start to laugh over what they had created....the most closed society in Europe.  Unless you bought a digital copy of the newspaper to come to your laptop or cellphone, or bought a paper copy on the way into work.....it'd be zero chance of watching news in Germany.

There is a problem brewing with newspapers everywhere.  It's called a business model that is outdated.  So far, no one has been willing to look at the future and start an open-door policy that has a monthly fee tied to it.  If you had forty German newspapers band together and offer open access....via a five-Euro a month fee, than you'd settle this viewing discussion quickly, and just move on.  

What happens in the end here?  I'm guessing that the newspapers are thinking a bit about what Google might do.  To have some dead zone existing in Google for German newspapers.....might be of a serious consequence.

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