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September 15, 2016updated 18 Sep 2016 7:41pm

Google slams new EU proposal for copyright owners

By Ellie Burns

Google has criticised a European Union proposal detailing fairer remuneration for copyright owners, saying that it includes “worrying elements”.

The search engine giant said that the proposal suggests filtration of works including text, video,and images by online services.

Google said: “This would effectively turn the internet into a place where everything uploaded to the web must be cleared by lawyers before it can find an audience.”

The European Commission released draft rules that enable publishers to demand payment for their content when services like Google News use it.

The Commission said: “These proposals will help European copyright industries to flourish in the Digital Single Market and European authors to reach new audiences, while making European works widely accessible to European citizens, also across borders.”

It said the proposal strengthens position of copyright holders to negotiate and be remunerated for the online exploitation of their content of video-sharing platforms

Google said the Commission’s proposal seems to be similar to the laws passed by Germany and Spain.

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In 2014, it closed its news portal in Spain after a copyright law allowed publishers to charge for their content, Bloomberg reported.

The search engine added that the draft proposal represents a “backward step” for copyright in Europe.

It could also put a cap on Google’s ability to send monetisable traffic, for free, to news publishers via Google News and Search.

The company said: “After all, paying to display snippets is not a viable option for anyone.

“We believe there’s a better way. Innovation and partnership—not subsidies and onerous restrictions—are the key to a successful, diverse and sustainable news sector in the EU, and Google is committed to playing its part.”

Google is already fighting three EU antitrust charges over its search, mobile software and advertising.

If the latest EU proposal becomes a law, Google may find it difficult to deal with copyright holders, as it empowers them with content withdrawal rights or demand payment.

Google added: “We’re also disappointed to see a proposal for a new right for press publishers, despite tens of thousands of voices—including ours—calling for a different approach.”

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