Publishers welcome new German law to force copyright recognition

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The European Publishers Council (EPC) has welcomed a decision by the German Bundestag to approve an ancillary copyright for news publishers in law that means that search engines and other aggregators who commercialise publishers’ content will no longer be able to do so without permission.  

The 'Leistungsschutzrecht,' as it is known in German, will pave the way for commercial negotiations between the parties on the price for the commercial use of publishers' content.

EPC chairman and CEO of Impresa in Portugal, Francisco Pinto Balsemão, said: 'The EPC welcomes this important vote in the German Bundestag today which recognises clearly in copyright law both the value and the cost of investment in professional journalistic content.'

The new law will only apply to those companies who exploit commercially third party content such as content aggregators and search engines. The proposed provision signifies no change at all to possible uses by other users, or for consumers, bloggers or companies and associations who may use links or cite passages of published content.

News publishers can now demand that search engines and other providers of such services that aggregate their content, refrain from unauthorised forms of usage. These companies will need licences for such usage in the future. The EPC believes that this law will help establish a market for aggregator content. New innovative business models can now be built based on legally licensed content.