New Copyright Law Shutters Google News in Spain

The latest casualties in the EU’s continuing war against U.S. tech companies are Spanish consumers. Google Inc. has folded its news service in Spain following Spain’s enactment of an ancillary copyright law that would require news aggregators to pay news publishers for displaying snippets or headlines, regardless of whether the publishers even wanted the fee.

–James C. Cooper

Spain's FlagGoogle decided to close its news-linking service in Spain in response to this legislation.

In a statement, the search giant said the new law makes the Google News service unsustainable and that it will remove Spanish publishers from Google News sites worldwide and shut down this service in Spain.

That means Google News will no longer be available to Internet users in Spain. But it also means that Google News users in the United States and elsewhere will no longer be able to access the real-time updates from publications such as El Pais, La Vanguardia and El Periodico de Catalunya.

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.

Google executive, Richard Gingras

James C. Cooper is the director of research and policy of the Law & Economics Center, and lecturer in law, at George Mason University School of Law. He has written about this topic in depth at Spain’s New Copyright Law Hurts Consumers.

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