Spanish publishers want Google back and ask for help

Am 19. Dezember 2014 - 16:14 Uhr von Tom Hirche
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The Spanish Association of Daily Newspaper Publishers (AEDE) was the driving force behind the new copyright law that forces every news service to pay a royalty for showing snippets of articles. It will come into effect on 1st January 2015. Google reacted quickly and shut down Google News Spain on 16th December 2014. Now the same lobbyists want Google to come back and ask for help.

According to the web-analytics service Chartbeat, the external traffic coming to Spanish media sites dropped by 10-15 percent after the closure.

The AEDE said in a statement that “the closure of Google News (...) is not equivalent to the closing of another service given its dominant position in the market and will undoubtedly have a negative impact on Spanish citizens and businesses.” Google has an above 95 percent share of the Spanish search market. Thus the AEDE said it “requires the intervention of the Spanish and EU authorities, and of competition authorities to effectively protect the rights of citizens and businesses.”

Unlike in Germany, publishers are not able to grant news services free use of snippets and thumbnails; the charging is obligatory. As the law covers the use of even the tiniest snippet, it is totally inflexible. Google explained the closure by pointing out that it did not make any revenue with the service. For that reason paying a royalty “is simply not sustainable”. The US company regards it highly unfair to pay for sending traffic to publishers of which only the latter benefit.

“The publishers wanted money for nothing. They didn’t get it", as David Meyer put it on Gigaom.

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