Search giant Google’s news service, Google News will no longer operate in Spain as of 16th December. The move comes after Spanish lawmakers changed the country’s law to introduce a so-called Google tax.
The law, drafted by Spain’s Ministry of Culture revolves around new intellectual property laws being introduced that enable Spanish publications to charge aggregating services like Google News for any of their content from Spanish magazines or newspapers shown on the site. They come into force in the New Year.
The AEDE association in Spain, which represents big news publishers lobbied for the so called Google Tax. It declined comment on the Google decision, which is the first closedown since Google News began as an experimental project in 2002.
Richard Gingras, head of Google News, said the decision was made "with real sadness" because it is "a service that hundreds of millions of users love and trust, including many here in Spain". "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," he wrote in a blog. "As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable."
The new law did not detail as to how much Google would require to pay the publishers, but the company stated Spain's law is much stringent than similar legislation enacted in other places.
Google News does not show adverts or beget any revenue. It has rattled content providers, newspaper publishers and other who contend the service infringe on copyrights by creating a digital news stand of headlines and story snippets collected from various websites.
However, Google defends saying it adheres to all copyright laws while sending more people to websites emphasized in its News services. The search giant also allows publishers to stop content from being displayed in Google News, an option few websites select because the service is a significant traffic source to sell adverts.
Last year, Germany revised copyright laws in a way that permitted, but did not force Google News to make royalty payments. Google needed publishers to approve the summarising of content and most did. Besides that Google also agreed to help French news organisations enhance online advertising revenue and fund digital publishing innovations to sort a discord over whether it should make payments for news content in its search results.