Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Legal Issues

There are two legal episodes underway in Germany....which affects internet users to a great extent.

First, there is this proposal making its way around that if any search engine (Google for example) uses some text to advertise a story at a site (say a major newspaper out of Munich)....then the Google folks ought to pay some cash for using the texts.

A number of German newspapers are arguing in favor of the change....hoping to be paid cash for their newspaper work.

Google?  They are fighting this to a great extent.  If it becomes law?  It's hard to say what Google will do.  They might just invoke the nothingness situation upon all of the newspaper sites, and refuse to even indicate that they exist.  So far, the newspapers have not indicated a fear in this happening.

The second case?  The Youtube folks have isolated a number of video's posted....where they cannot be viewed within Germany.  If you click on the goes nowhere apparently.  This is in reaction to a court action with the GEMA folks.

Youtube and GEMA got into this big discussion on ownership rights and money owed for what GEMA has in their possession.  GEMA might get some damage money, but the bigger issue is where future German songs get any traction with the public.

The studios, artists, and copyright owners are fighting a messy war here....where numbers are decreasing each year.

The amount that GEMA might get out of Youtube?  Maybe in the range of $2 million.

At some point....the Google folks (who own Youtube as well), may decide that Germany is this pit of court action and just put a fancy filter up that no one from a German IP can ever use their search engine. Even a week or two of this....would trigger an enormous amount of talk about the limits of the internet if Google is turned off.

As an outsider this mess....I'd almost get this idea that some folks see Google as a big target in Facebook....and simply going after them for the sake of a good legal fight.  At some point, I suspect that Google will turn it's lawyers loose on German sites that sponsor music videos without charging anyone, and make this a bigger mess than it currently is.

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