google-logo-874x288Google has decided to shut down Google News in Spain.  According to a recently passed Spanish Law, this drastic step being taken by Google is in response to the fact that the company would be paying licensing revenues to Spanish publishers if their content appeared in Google News, including headlines.

Newspaper group AEDE, and other Spanish publishers have attempted to turn Google into a source of mandatory licensing revenue through a copyright and anti-piracy law that would have required fees for any bit of content presented in Google News.

The law is going into effect January 1, 2015, and despite the fact they are shutting down Google News, the move won’t affect Google’s traditional search results will appear.  There is a blog post that was explained by the company why they made this decision:

[S]adly, 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.”

The Spanish law has come following a similar, but failed, attempt in Germany to obtain licensing revenues from Google.  Google had asked German publishers to sign liability waivers that would allow their “snippets” to be included in Google News.  But with the Spanish law, once it’s taken effect, will make it impossible for publishers on an individual basis to waive their copyright licensing “rights” under the new statute regardless of if they disagree with the law or not.

Spanish officials are upset about Google’s decision to remove Google News, but since Google makes no money of News, it has no other choice but to shut it down so they can avoid paying for a service they aren’t profiting from in the first place.

For more on the story, follow the link to Search Engine Land’s post below.

Strict New “Copyright Law” Forces End Of Google News In Spain

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