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Freedom of access vs. Copyright

Copyright, copyright, oh copyright. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of the importance of copyright and I think it is needed to protect. However, I often make a poor show. I download and freely use images of the Internet (for personal use) just like the average online user. In this debate I would normally be fond of the freedom of access, however a German copyright law has brought me around.

This law will make sure Google News needs to pay for every referring link to news articles online (nu.nl). The German magazines and newspapers say Google earns money with their articles and they want Google to share their advertising revenues out of search results to news. If Google will not pay, the search results will be blocked. The search engine is according to Google just an added value as articles are better reachable and visible. Germany is not the only country; Brazil and France have also taken measures against Google News.

The freedom of access the Internet is supposedly to provide of course is fraught with problems of copyright. One could say the newspapers provide the articles online on a free basis anyway, however Google exploits them and makes money of them. I believe the newspapers here are right, and Google has no right exploiting the articles. Yay for copyright.


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