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Zeit Online - Germany | Monday, March 4, 2013

Jeff Jarvis voices wonder at the symbiosis between state and media in Europe

After years of controversy the German Bundestag on Friday passed a law - known as the Leistungsschutzrecht - strengthening the copyrights of publishers on the Internet. Under the new legislation publishers can demand pay from search engine operators when they quote long excerpts from articles. US blogger Jeff Jarvis voices his dismay at the lacking innovation among German publishers: "Every time Google links to them it is up to the publishers to establish a relationship with that user and find value in it. That publishers have failed to do this almost two decades into the web era is not Google's fault; it is their fault. ... To be fair, this is not purely a German disease. It is a European ailment as well. In France publishers hide behind government's skirt to blackmail Google into paying into a fund to support innovation by publishers who've not innovated. ... It is an industrial wonder in a post-industrial age. Government and media are embracing each other to defend their old institutions against disruption and the opportunity that can come with it."

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