Germany's highest court has rejected a case brought by Yahoo against a law designed to compensate news publishers for the use of their content.
The Constitutional Court said on Wednesday that the technology giant had not yet exhausted its legal possibilities in lower courts and should turn to them first.
The judges did not rule on the issue itself, which also affects rival search engine companies such as Google.
Germany revised its copyright laws in 2013 to allow media companies to request payment from search engines which use more than snippets of their content.
A lawyer for Yahoo said he was not immediately able to comment on the verdict as the court had not yet informed the parties.