Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property

The new German publisher's right – a violation of European Law? A comment

Guido Westkamp *

Keywords: publisher's right, database right, search engines, freedom of information, normal exploitation


Recently, and in the face of massive criticism, the German legislator introduced a new neighbouring right that will grant news publishers the right to authorize or prohibit the use of news items by search engines. The comment takes the view that this new right violates European law in affording protection against the use of information that goes above and beyond the freedom provided under the Database Directive and that therefore courts must refuse to apply it.

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