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#General Tech

Google removes German news snippets from search results

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As a result of being taken to court over intellectual property rights by the German publishers, Google has decided not to display German news snippets and thumbnail images in their search results.

From now readers will only see links to news stories and even this may be absent in the case of VG Media which is among the leading publishers in Germany and a complainant before the court.

Speaking about this decision, Google Germany’s Managing Director, Philipp Justus wrote in a blog post that some of the German publishers, represented by the collecting society VG Media, recently decided to sue the company for displaying snippets and preview images to alert readers to the pages from those publishers. Justus added that the company regrets this legal approach very much because every publisher was always able to decide whether and how its content is displayed in the services themselves.

The most to be affected by Google’s decision are bild.de, bunte.de and hoerzu.de under VG Media. In a similar move, many other search engines have also decided to follow the footsteps of Google.

VG Media has described Google’s move as an attempt at blackmail. Further the media group says that it is a brazen attempt to nullify German intellectual property rights laws.

At the core of all this is the Ancillary Copyright Bill. The bill seeks to compensate publishers for contents but excludes snippets from within its purview, making it unnecessary to pay for snippets. VG Media had earlier unsuccessfully negotiated payment with the search engine giant. Google says that the law is capable of being interpreted to mean snippets and hence its current move.