New draft bill: ancillary copyright for publishers today in the Federal Cabinet


The Federal Cabinet advises on copyright on the Internet: This Wednesday, the government is dealing with a bill that is intended to anchor the controversial performance right for press publishers. Press publishers should have "the exclusive right" to make "press products for commercial use publicly available on the Internet". The initiative is directed especially against search engines like Google.

With regard to the search engines, the bill published in full text by states: "Today, press publishers are increasingly confronted with the fact that other users systematically access the publisher's performance for their own added value, and that in in a way that goes beyond mere linking. "

At the beginning of March, the governing coalition reaffirmed its intention, already enshrined in the coalition agreement, to introduce such ancillary copyright as part of a copyright reform. As a result, in mid-June the Federal Ministry of Justice presented a first draft bill for a law, which has since been revised in the ranks of the coalition parties after some massive criticism. The publisher associations have called for the introduction of the ancillary copyright law in this legislative period, ie until autumn 2013.

According to a consultancy survey, the contents of media publishers published on the Internet amount to 7.5 percent of all entries in Google's search results. "The share of press publishers in web search is therefore manageable, " summarizes the study of the Hamburg-based consulting firm TRG - The Reach Group with the analysis provider Sistrix. The share of Google search advertising on pages with publishing content is therefore only 1.1 percent.

The company TRG, which specializes in search engine advertising, intends to make a contribution to the discussion on ancillary copyright. A TRG spokeswoman said on request that the study was created on its own initiative and not on behalf of a particular client.

The TRG study is based on more than 15 million of the most popular search queries on and each with more than 100 results, in total more than 1.5 billion entries in the hit lists. The contents of the website were classified by around 1200 Internet providers, which are included in Google News - with the exception of some non-media topic portals with their own editorial content. "If we take five of these unequivocal non-press domains out of consideration, all the remaining press publishers land on only 7.5 percent of the search hits."

According to the results of the study, Google markets 55.6 percent of the search terms examined with its "Adwords" advertising, in which advertisers' offers are displayed in a color-coded area at the top of the Google page. Another source of revenue from Google is the "Adsense" program, in which the providers of web offers incorporate Google advertising into their pages and earn on every click. "Every year Google most likely makes billions in sales in Germany, " write the authors, who estimate Google's return on sales to "just over 25 percent."

Google has built an amazing business model that works better now than "the time-consuming process of creating news, good content and in-depth reports, " writes TRG. But probably Google earned "the overwhelming majority of his money in Germany without the help of German press publishers". (Dpa / tc)