The German Parliament passed a law, which will force search engines such as Google and other news aggregators, to pay royalties to publishers for posting extracts of their articles.
The text exempts individual words or “single words or small text passages” although it does not state how short a passage has to be to be royalty-free.
If a passage needs to be shorter than a headline to be royalty-free, the law is likely to lead to the removal of all German news publications from Google search results, the Telegraph reports.
The bill still needs upper-house approval, and is expected to meet resistance.
Germany’s coalition government was the driver behind the law, and the main opposition, the SPD, has said that it will try to defeat the law in the country’s second legislative chamber, the Bundesrat.
Google has been a vocal opponent of the law, the paper said.
According to the website Gigaom, in France and Belgium the search giant has settled similar disputes with publishers in deals that many have regarded seen as tantamount to a payoff, the paper added.