New Israeli bill would require search engines to pay royalties

A private bill was submitted by nine members of the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) last week, seeking legislation that would require search engines to pay royalties to content creators, whose sites are among those included in the search results {Bill to regulate payments to content creators on the Internet, 5774-2014, available in Hebrew, here}.

According to the bill's explanatory notes, it is designed "to promote and encourage the creation, production, and distribution of information and original Israeli content on the Internet." The bill would require operators of web search engines to pay the State 7 percent of their annual revenue from advertising in Israel. The State would later distribute this share to content creators on the web, according to criteria to be determined by regulations. The regulations will be formulated by an advisory committee headed by a retired judge, with two members of the public from the Internet sector, and four civil servants.
The bill explains that search engines rake-in considerable profits from their role as intermediaries connecting users to the wide variety of content available on the Net. The bill goes on to explain that “without content creators to produce the content monitored by the search engines”, search engines would not exist.
The Knesset members that proposed the bill further stress that often, the use of search engines prevents content site operators from reaping certain revenues, both because the summary results displayed by the search engine may make it unnecessary for users to actually enter the content site, and because the link displayed to users leads them to an internal page on the content website, rather than the landing page, which according to those proposing the bill, is precisely where the advertisements that facilitate the content site's income are displayed.