Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

Dec 18, 2013

Proposed Law: royalties from Google

I don't quite get this proposal, but here it is..

From Globes:
The Knesset is demanding royalties from Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) for Israeli content. The Knesset Finance Committee has begun discussing a bill submitted by MK Erel Margalit (Labor) which would require Google to transfer 7% annually of its revenue from Israeli copyrighted Internet content, which will be divided up by a special committee that will be set up. 
To meet the criteria for the bill for receiving royalties, a content site must be active for more than one year and the information presented must be updated or changed at least weekly, and at least 30% of the content must be produced by the website itself. According to the bill, the royalties will be deposited in an account managed by the Ministry of Finance's Accountant General from where it will be transferred to content producers that meet the criteria and rules.
The bill is based on the fact that search engines like Google rake in huge profits but they would not be able to exist without the sites to which it refers surfers. Margalit said that very often surfers make do with looking at the results from the search engine without entering the relevant page on the original site in order to receive the requested information.
Margalit warned, "Israeli democracy is in danger. Google is not IDB. Google has become a search engine technology tycoon in the State of Israel. Technology is an important means to bridge gaps and the Israeli economy needs new thinking about the connection between high-tech and technology and the country's economy and growth."

If anybody knows what he is talking about on this issue, it would be Erel Margalit. He is the founder of a Jerusalem-based incubator for hi-tech firms. There is probably nobody more qualified than him in Knesset (maybe other than Naftali Bennet who made millions selling his hi-tech company), and most other places, to come up with such a plan.

My question is do other governments do the same and why not just let each individual copyright holder claim royalties from Google? Why does the government need to be involved in collection and distribution? Maybe they think Google will trample each claimant on his own - no one claimant will be big enough for Google to pay them any attention, so the government needs to step in to protect them all.

Maybe Google can make these payments all through Google Wallet..

Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel


  1. There's always the flip side - many of these sites wouldn't exists without people being able to find them via Google. And they pay nothing to Google for such a benefit.

    If this bill passes, Google can demonstrate this by stopping to rank pages which fit the criteria for the bill. If the sites suffer because of it, it will just go to prove that the websites benefit from being ranked in Google at least as much as Google does for ranking them.

  2. France tried the same thing. Read more here: http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/18/french-law-endangers-googles-very-existence-threatens-country-wide-news-boycott/

    Other European countries too: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-21/in-europe-googles-news-snippets-may-get-more-expensive

    It's still a dumb idea proposed by those who really don't understand the evolution of publishing. The snippets Google uses (they aren't full text, just snippets) drive traffic to the content providers. The content providers are getting free visibility and traffic while Google also achieves more traffic. I'd be thrilled if my site would get such a free promotion!

  3. Google would still exist, but it would not be allowed to publish the snippets. That would take some convenience out of search results but would drive more traffic to more of the sites. This would increase competition. If Google would penalize good sites, then its search would be self-damaged.
    Google has definitely taken the piggish title from Microsoft. It is earning a massive amount of money and getting bigger and bigger. Capitalism goes too far when all competition is wiped away. Yes, there is a natural issue of supply and demand here but there are also laws in Israel about limiting monopolies.


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...