Leading European newspaper and magazine publishers on Thursday called on the European Commission to strengthen copyright protection as a way to lay the groundwork for new ways to generate revenue online, reports The New York Times. The publishers said widespread use of their work by online news aggregators and other web sites was undermining their efforts to develop an online business models at a time when readers and advertisers are defecting from newspapers and magazines. The petition echoes other recent calls from publishers for greater copyright protection as they try to move beyond a business models based largely on advertising and try to generate more revenue from users. Only a handful of newspapers or magazines, including The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, have had success charging readers to use their sites.
The initiative grew out of a campaign in Germany, led by Axel Springer, which publishes the tabloid Bild, to strengthen copyright law in that country. German publishers want to create a so-called neighboring right for publishers, similar to protections that already exist for music publishers and other content owners…

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