WTF is Leistungsschutzrecht

Mai 2017

While the EU copyright reform continues to be delayed, the Landgericht Berlin is consulting the European Court of Justice with regard to the German copyright law for press publishers. It may not be applicable because the EU Commission was not allowed to comment.

Der Europäische Gerichtshof (EuGH) in Luxemburg | CC BY 2.0 Cédric Puisney

March 2017

Both independent scientists and Catherine Stihler, the Parliamentary Prosecutor, are strongly criticizing the EU Commission’s plans for a European Leistungsschutzrecht. Also the suggestion for automatic upload filters comes out badly.

Catherine Stihler, Member of the European Parliament for Scotland/United Kingdom in Strasbourg, France | CC BY-SA 3.0 Diliff

September 2016

Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, is now damanding publishers to swarm out in support for an EU version of Leistungsschutzrecht. What has failed miserably in Germany has to succeed EU wide, right?!

VG Media ~ the society to protect copyrights of media companies here in Germany ~ hates the internet. Nobody is reading newspapers anymore. And if they do, they do it online with AdBlockers active to protect their eyesight and/or data volume.

This can’t be right. BILD Zeitung, Hörzu and other yellow press journals by Axel Springer have been top earning trash products the past fifty years. Doomsday if this would change somehow. And who is the villain stealing their money? Google is! With its searchengine showing links to their glorious content and YouTube being more interesting than the same old shows on television all over again.

Someone has to stop this! Someone has to unmake the internet. Searchengines and AdBlockers in particular.

In 2013  ~ that year our chancellor proclaimed how the internet is uncharted territory to us all ~ VG Media somehow talked our legislation to invent a law: The Leistungsschutzrecht.

In a flush of victory the publishers turned to Google demanding 11% revenue over the use of snippets of their content. Google then hid those snippets in search results instead of paying. Doomsday again. VG Media ran to the government (cartel office) to snitch about Google using market dominance against them. Government shrugged them off this time. So they teeth-gnashingly signed a permission for Google only to use snippets of their content free of charge. Happy end? Not yet.

Smaller searchengines demanded equality. Governmental supervision agreed and declared those single user freebie licences as prohibited in 2015. VG Media entered objection and were shrugged off again. By now, several courts are involved in jurisdiction concerning Leistungsschutzrecht. If you have ever wondered where German tax money goes: here is where.

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