By Larry Magid

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Google is fighting back against a proposal German legislators are considering that would impose a tax on search engines each time they link to media content, including news articles and photographs.

It’s being backed by a number of publishers. I know that multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation (one of the world’s largest media conglomerates) has been a strong critic of Google and feels like he’s being ripped off.

When you do a Google News search on any topic, you get a list of links, likely from Murdoch’s outlets as well as many others. He argues users just read those and don’t necessarily click through to his content. Therefore, Google is getting advertising revenue on his back and he wants a share of it.

KCBS Technology Analyst Larry Magid Reports:

Now in Germany it appears the legislature is calling for fees, I won’t call it a tax because as far as I understand it goes to the publisher. As a writer and a publisher myself, I actually like it when Google and other search engines point to my content since it drives traffic to my website or to the sites that I write for.

I think there are two sides to this and I think that a lot of publishers, if forced to choose between a small fee and not having their content on Google News might at the end of the day go for having their content go up since Google is a major promotional tool. For some though it still may be a point of principle.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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