Bundestag sends 'Google Tax' to committee

By Peter Gothard
30 Nov 2012 View Comments
bundestag2

Germany's parliament is continuing enquiries into the notion of introducing a levy on Google for each time it indexes or links to media content.

The so-called 'Google Tax', which would cover content such as newspaper articles and photographs copyrighted by publishers, was last night passed from parliament to an "expert committee", which is expected to discuss recommendations on how to proceed.

Further reading

If the levy were to be approved, it could potentially cost Google a huge amount of money in payouts, especially if more copyright holders across the world get involved in similar policies.

Google has already launched a campaign, which began on 27 November, called "Defend Your Web", which outlines what the company thinks would happen if the levy goes through the German parliament.

Basically, Google is threatening to remove German publications from its search results, meaning users of the search engine in Germany will be unable to find any useful content.

Google predicts "higher costs, less information and massive legal uncertainty", and says that "bloggers, politicians, the German economy and leading scientists reject this venture".

Google even suggests that forcing it to remove German media content from its search engine results could damage the entire country's economy, as well as hold back innovation in the media and cause an all-round "market economy paradox".

There is currently no indication of when the committee will share its findings.

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