New EU Law Could See Google Abandoning Thumbnails, Looking Drastically Different

New EU Law Could See Google Abandoning Thumbnails, Looking Drastically Different

Google stands to look drastically different if a new copyright law that has just been passed comes into full effect. Throughout Europe, companies like Google could be faced with the prospect of paying a licensing fee to use images for thumbnails, something that has always previously been legal.

It was less than six months ago, in September 2018, that the European Parliament voted for the EU Copyright Directive, something that has been divisive among critics. To illustrate the potential consequences, Google has mocked up how its pages may look, should the bill come into power.

Final decisions haven’t been made, but as it stands Article 11 “would force Google and other news aggregators to pay non-waivable licensing fees when photo thumbnails and article excerpts are displayed.” In contrast, US law says such usage is fair game.

Elsewhere, Article 13 would mean companies such as Google would be required to verify whether all uploads potentially infringe copyright. In theory, it’s a nice move that will protect photographers – but it stands to disrupt day-to-day internet usage quite drastically.

Google News VP Richard Gingras wrote last month.

Article 11 could change that principle and require online services to strike commercial deals with publishers to show hyperlinks and short snippets of news. This means that search engines, news aggregators, apps, and platforms would have to put commercial licences in place, and make decisions about which content to include on the basis of those licensing agreements and which to leave out. Effectively, companies like Google will be put in the position of picking winners and losers.

Posting the mock-up screenshots, Search Engine Land drew comparisons to it looking as though pages have “failed to completely load.” 

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9 Comments

Damn. Google already sucks enough as it is. I understand the point behind this but this is just going to make finding things on the internet even more difficult and annoying than it already is. The first thing I get on any query result, no matter what I'm searching, is always a full page of links to buy stuff. I'm not looking to buy anything most of the time. I'm looking for information. I also understand that's how google makes their money is through ads and links but when you show products over relevant results your search engine becomes total garbage. You Tube is just as bad. I remember when I could watch one video, and when done, look in the video side bar and it would show RELATED VIDEOS. Now if I search something like yoyo tricks and I click on a video then when it finishes all I see is very click baity titled videos that are what google "THINKS" you want to watch instead of showing me videos related to the one I originally watched. It was the best way to find obscure videos with useful content. The front page of YouTube is pure vomit. Top tens, count downs, "THIS ONE TRICK SHOCKED US" , and "You'll NEVER BELIEVE!" type of videos. YouTube only shows videos from content creators that get the views from the the general population. Screw that guy you like that has good videos that only get a couple hundred likes. That channel will get pushed to depths of the YouTube ocean while the garbage floats to the top. You could be subscribed to the channel and never see anything from it if the owner uploaded a video that day.

Stephen Hutchinson's picture

Install an adblock extension and you have the choice not to see those ads.

Like this:

Ryan Cooper's picture

I can't see all the search engines gimping their offerings globally for this new law. I expect the result of it will be that EU countries end up with stripped-down versions of major search engines while there is no impact at all for other countries.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Exactly. No reason why we should suffer just because the EU has it's head in the sand.

I really hope so D: I always try to prepare for what I can see as the worst and hope for the best haha.

Scott Wardwell's picture

The EU just wants to put a strangle-hold in the free-flow of information on the Net. Anyone who thinks they looking after the best interest of creatives deserves a swift kick in the nads.

Mark Harris's picture

GDPR has already started to strangle the web in the EU. Several times now I've found a page that had information I needed, and then when I click on the link, I'm confronted with a message along the lines of "We have blocked this page for EU users because we can't work out if it violates GDPR or not, and want to be on the safe side". This new law will be even worse.

Sam Hood's picture

I guess we'll have to use VPN's just to google stuff soon

Theresa Baker's picture

Yeah, you are right. I always use https://www.vpnunlimitedapp.com/en to find something in Google when I travel to other countries and now I guess I will use it at home. It's a pity.