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Wednesday, 14 March 2012 10:51

Germans want to tax news blogs and search engines

Written by Nick Farrell



All your links are belong to Angela Merkel


German Chancellor Angela Merkel has come up with a wizard wheeze to make a euro or two out of the Internet. While some more enterprising German chancellors might have thought of invading Poland, Merkel thinks that taxing news blogs and search engines is the way to save her country from all those daft loans it gave Italy and Greece.

She wants to slap online news aggregators with a tax to pay publishers for the distribution of press products (such as news articles) on the Internet. Under the deal any business that links to a news article with a brief excerpt is subject to the tax. It means that sites like the Drudge Report, Times 24/7, Real Clear Politics, Digg, Fark and Reddit which collect news from sources spread across the Web will end up making huge amounts of cash to Germany and prop up the failing German publishers.

Basically the new economy is being used to bail out the old economy simply because the old press barons still have a lot of influence on Merkle's government. A couple of years ago the US Federal Trade Commission began work on a project to “reinvent journalism” which would have taxed news aggregators but it was swiftly abandoned.

Nick Farrell

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