Austria’s New Copyright Law

Editors note: To read this post in German, visit this link.

The Austrian legislator has just adopted significant changes to copyright law, implementing the European Copyright Directive from 2019. These changes include the incorporation of Article 15, which introduces a new ancillary copyright for press publishers. Google intends to enter into negotiations with press publishers in Austria to license their content under these new rights.

Austria’s new copyright law provides two important guiding principles. On the one hand, people and platforms can continue to link to, and use, very short extracts of press publishers’ content. At the same time, the law creates new rights for news publishers when extended previews of their work are used online. While the law does not define the scope of protected content, we will make offers for Extended News Previews (such content that may be protected by the new law) with press publishers in Austria.

This follows discussions we have already started with hundreds of news publishers across countries including Germany, Hungary, France, Denmark and the Netherlands, where the law is now in effect, and follows our previously announced agreements in Germany.

As always, publishers have full control over whether or not their content shows up in Search, and how much of that content can be used in a preview. They can change these settings at any time and we will continue to display previews in accordance with those settings provided by publishers.

We hope to reach agreements that enable us to continue to support access to information and journalism in Austria, without harming important principles of the open web.

Alongside these discussions we will continue to invest in our support for journalism. As people in Austria increasingly go online to get their news, journalists and publishers are turning to technology to reach their readers. Google helps people find that information by linking to news and other websites, and provides tools, advertising technology and funding to enable publishers to make money online. Earlier this year we also launched our licensing programme for news, Google News Showcase, in Austria as part of our ongoing support for journalism in Austria.

We look forward to working with publishers and journalists on all these efforts in the coming years.