Google can’t catch a break, and in this bit of news, Google seems to be the scapegoat for the failure of other companies.
Niclas Malmberg, a member of the Swedish parliament wants Google to help fund Swedish news publication along the same lines as the French model established the year before. Google, after being threatened with a “link tax,” agreed “to create a €60 million Digital Publishing Innovation Fund to help support transformative digital publishing initiatives for French readers.”
Unfortunately, the Swedish proposals are in, well, Swedish, and anybody who would want to read them would have to use Google translate to read the article. But as you can already imagine, some of the accuracy will be flying out the window due to the translation.
Another idea that Malmberg pointed to Spotify, which is another Swedish company, as another possible model for the newspaper industry. For those who uses Spotify, you know that they pay royalties based on user subscriptions. The only problem is that it isn’t exactly the same, as Google News doesn’t work the same way, as they are entirely ad supported. But despite these differences, the politician feels that Google should share some of their ad revenue with Swedish newspapers based on their traffic or market share.
What makes this situation more believable is that Sweden is another European company, like other countries in Europe, Sweden publishers feel that Google is making money unfairly off their content and ultimately harming the industry. This is why a “link tax” has come into question, which could be used as leverage in negotiation with Google.