Google launched an Internet campaign in Germany on Tuesday aiming to
drum up public support against a proposed law that would force the
search engine to pay publishers for content offered on the site.
one-minute Internet video, entitled "defend your net", shows consumers
using the search engine to find what they want on the web.
more than 10 years, you have been able to find the things that move you.
A planned law will now change that," the firm says in the video.
you want that to happen? Get involved," ends the message, offering
users the possibility to sign an online petition against the law, due to
be debated in the Bundestag lower house of parliament on Thursday.
draft law dubbed the "Lex Google" as the giant US search engine is seen
as the main target would force search engines to pay a fee to
publishers when Internet users click through to their content.
for many years by powerful media groups such as Axel Springer and
Bertelsmann, which want to retain the copyright over their content, the
draft legislation is backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling
The media groups also argue that a user of "Google
News" can simply read the short summaries offered on the front page to
get his or her fix of the daily news, rather than clicking through to
the paper concerned.
But the head of Google Germany, Stefan
Tweraser, hit back, saying: "The majority of citizens have never heard
of this draft law even though it could affect all Internet users in
Tweraser said the law would restrict the content citizens could access on the web and result in higher costs for companies.
However, Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger noted that consumers did have a choice.
"There are other search engines than Google," she told business daily Handelsblatt in its Wednesday edition.
France is also pushing Google to compensate media websites.