Several of Germany’s largest newspaper and magazine publishers have instituted legal proceedings against Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. They’re seeking an order that would make the search engines pay them an 11 percent portion of their “gross sales, including foreign sales” that come “directly and indirectly from making excerpts from online newspapers and magazines public.” That’s according to new media pundit Jeff Jarvis, who published a blog post this morning calling the demands “as absurd as they are cynical and dangerous” and part of a German “war on the link.”
The move appears to be an attempt to achieve in courts what the publishers were not able to get last year through the German legislative process.
The German companies that instigated the arbitration against Google include Axel Springer, Burda, WAZ, the Müncher Merkur. Other major publishers have chosen not to participate, including Spiegel Online, Handelsblatt,, and Focus.
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