Friday, 12 December 2014

Google News shuts in Spain over new law


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Google News shuts in Spain over new law

12 December, 2014, SpainUSA NEWS CORP

Just wait until the publishers in Spain start complaining to Google about this. The last time this happened, Google removed all links to those media organizations from Google's websites all across the spectrum because they wanted to get paid and then they withdrew when they saw their web traffic drop dramatically. This new copyright law is going to do the same thing but this time around, it isn't going to be an easy fix because this is a law that has been passed in Spain. Not only is web traffic going to drop for all of those media organizations in Spain, but Google News is being shut down in Spain and all references to those media organizations is being wiped from Google News all across the spectrum.

Spain's AEDE association, which represents large news publishers, lobbied for the law nicknamed the "Google Tax." Those that were pushing for payment for everything and counting their money before it came in are in for a rude shock when their citizens have to go to other countries to find out what is going on in their own. Copyright in its currently form only exists because of excessive corporate lobbying, and often works against the public interest.

It’s a service that hundreds of millions of users love and trust, including many here in Spain. It’s free to use and includes everything from the world’s biggest newspapers to small, local publications and bloggers. Publishers can choose whether or not they want their articles to appear in Google News -- and the vast majority choose to be included for very good reason. Google News creates real value for these publications by driving people to their websites, which in turn helps generate advertising revenues. 

But sadly, as a result of a new Spanish law, we’ll shortly have to close Google News in Spain. Let me explain why. This new legislation requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not. As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable. So it’s with real sadness that on 16 December (before the new law comes into effect in January) we’ll remove Spanish publishers from Google News, and close Google News in Spain.

For centuries publishers were limited in how widely they could distribute the printed page. The Internet changed all that -- creating tremendous opportunities but also real challenges for publishers as competition both for readers’ attention and for advertising Euros increased. We’re committed to helping the news industry meet that challenge and look forward to continuing to work with our thousands of partners globally, as well as in Spain, to help them increase their online readership and revenues. 


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