Google has released a warning about the potential effects of the European Union’s Copyright Directive, stating that it could result in an empty search results page.
This applies mainly to news results, as the Copyright Directive gives publishers to right to demand payment from platforms which use excerpts of their stories and images.
If this policy is implemented, Google’s search page would not be able to pull news story excerpts or images from publishers – unless Google chose to pay.
Google shared screenshots with Search Engine Land detailing what its search page would look like as a result.
Judging from the screenshots, searching for “latest news” would bring up only the name of each publication and when a story was published – with no headlines, images, or summaries.
The European Parliament voted in favour of the Copyright Directive last year, which many critics warned could “break the Internet”.
If the policy is voted through without changes, EU nations will need to implement the directive into their national laws in 2021.