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Google: Court says Germany has to notify EU of copyright

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Googleplex Headquarters, San Jose, US.

Googleplex Headquarters, San Jose, US. By The Pancake of Heaven! – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Google won a victory on Thursday after Europe’s top court said Germany has to notify the European Commission of a rule allowing publishers to demand a copyright fee from the U.S. tech giant for using news snippets.

VG Media, a consortium of around 200 publishers, took Google to a German court for using text excerpts, images, and videos produced by its members without paying them. The case underlines the battle between publishers and Alphabet unit Google over the share of revenues from distributing news.

The lawsuit was based on German ancillary copyright law in force since August 2013.

The German court subsequently sought guidance from the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the EU (ECJ), Europe’s highest.

Germany has to notify the EU executive first for its ruling to take effect, ECJ judges said.

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