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The Bundestag, or lower house of the German parliament, approved a less-stringent version of a copyright bill on Friday that still allows search engines like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) to link to news articles without having to pay copyright fees. Google had lobbied hard against the original version of the copyright bill, which could have hampered basic internet search functions in Germany since it would have required copyright fees for even small portions of text aggregated from websites.
According to The New York Times, the revised bill states that search engines may publish “individual words or small snippets of text such as headlines” without having to pay any fees. However, some critics believe that the language in the current form of the bill is still too vague and that many individual cases of alleged copyright infringement may have to be settled by the courts.
Ralf Bremer, Google’s spokesperson in Germany, said that “the best outcome for Germany would be no new legislation because it threatens innovation, particularly for start-ups,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
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