Surprise: Spanish Newspapers Beg Government And EU To Stop Google News Shutting Down

from the bed-made,-lie-in-it dept

Yesterday, we wrote about Google’s decision to shut its Google News service in Spain as a result of that country’s insane new copyright law. In a move that will surprise no one — except, perhaps, at how little time it took to happen — the newspapers association is now begging the Spanish government to do something about the damage the new law, which the publishers lobbied for, is about to wreak on the newspaper industry. The Spain Report explains:

The Spanish Newspaper Publishers’ Association (AEDE) issued a statement last night saying that Google News was “not just the closure of another service given its dominant market position”, recognising that Google?s decision: “will undoubtedly have a negative impact on citizens and Spanish businesses”.

“Given the dominant position of Google (which in Spain controls almost all of the searches in the market and is an authentic gateway to the Internet), AEDE requires the intervention of Spanish and community authorities, and competition authorities, to effectively protect the rights of citizens and companies”.

What that intervention might be is not clear. AEDE can hardly expect the Spanish government to pass a new law making it compulsory for Google to keep its Google News service running at a loss. The only workable option is to take the route followed in Germany: to give Google a special deal that allows it to carry on as before, but without having to pay — which would gut the new copyright law completely.

What makes this situation even more ridiculous is that, according to the ABC.es newspaper, German publishers are now asking Angela Merkel to change the manifestly broken German approach to using news snippets online, by copying the even more backward-looking Spanish law (original in Spanish.) Once again, it seems that an obsession with “protecting” copyright from imaginary harm causes otherwise rational people to lose the ability to think properly.

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Comments on “Surprise: Spanish Newspapers Beg Government And EU To Stop Google News Shutting Down”

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135 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

Sweet, sweet schadenfreude

AEDE can hardly expect the Spanish government to pass a new law making it compulsory for Google to keep its Google News service running at a loss.

You’d think so, but I bet you’d be wrong, they will probably try that very thing, perhaps via ultimatum(‘You either continue to offer news services, paying out the nose for them, or you remove all services from the country’).

We’re not talking about rational, reasonable people here, but politicians and parasites. They really, really don’t like backing down or admitting to screwing up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Sweet, sweet schadenfreude

No, what would happen is the EU would then attack Google for discriminatory provision of service across the EU, and tell them to either stop doing business in the EU, or provide equal service across the EU, and start applying fines.

At which point, Google would be in a bind, as they’re officially based out of Ireland. Moving back to the US would cost them a LOT of money in taxes alone.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Sweet, sweet schadenfreude

“At which point, Google would be in a bind, as they’re officially based out of Ireland. Moving back to the US would cost them a LOT of money in taxes alone.”

Or they’d just set up their European operations as a separate company. Moving the rest of their operations out of Ireland might hurt them, but I won’t shed any tears that a major company’s tax avoidance scheme was harmed.

Dave Howe (profile) says:

Re: Sweet, sweet schadenfreude

Wouldn’t be surprised to see them double down – but Google would then just remove all those news sites entirely from google search, and wait (in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they removed all sites from the .es domain from their search entirely, then replaced it with a banner saying “this search does not include results from the Spanish TLD by request from the Spanish government”

Still, the Spanish government obviously has another choice – they can buy a datacenter full of servers, provision it with bandwidth, pay programmers to write code to scan every news site in the world and correlate news stories, and generally reproduce Google’s news service at their own expense. Then pay the Spanish news orgs for the privilege, of course, because they aren’t immune to the law either.

jameshogg says:

There are legitimate criticisms of Google that need to be addressed. Its tax dodging, its dangerous monopolistic tendencies, its censorship in some cases (there’s a valid point to be made in this situation that Google’s closing down of news feeds in Spain over a silly copyright squabble resembles censorship in some form), and its overall capitalist elitism.

So to see copyright fools like these perform the equivalent of Basil Fawlty going mental and hitting his car with a tree branch over and over in a serious attempt at getting it working again as a means of attacking the corporate giant is pathetic on all fronts.

jameshogg says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It would have been far better if Google remained defiant and continued to run the news feed without paying. One of the necessary things you have to do when threatened like this is to say that the freedom to express trumps all else, even in the face of bad laws that must be disobeyed. Because such a stand would have also helped the cause for their competitors, who also have been affected by this copyright policy presumably.

If it makes the copyright squad look that more ridiculous by bitching over quotable paragraphs then all the more for it. Any impending stupid lawsuits may have even prompted calls to reverse the copyright policy.

I’m a fan of confrontation in that way.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

No, then that would fan the flames of Google being evil by committing an illegal act. No, Google needs to adhere to the law. However, they do not need to adhere to the law the way the law was intended. The law was passed intended to get Google to pay money.

As I stated before, the AEDE crafted this law calculating based upon what happened in Germany. They did not calculate that Google would simply pull out from the market.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

It might have been fun to watch but this would not have worked. The dinosaurs would then have been able to point to Google as the lawbreaking evil company. They would do everything in their power to drag them through the mud and the politicians would do the same. Google might have come out victorious after a lengthy trial, but their name would have suffered.
This way they humiliate the politicians and the greedy publishers, while getting most of the public on their side and instead of the law silently being abolished after years of court, they can get a fast, very public, and very loud outcry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“The end result is a barrier for the reader in any case.”

A result they deserve. I am sick and tired of everyone pissing and moaning about the people that caused this damage in the first place.

You are responsible for your government… if you don’t like it, then move to another country or change it. It may not be easy and it may not be fair, but that is just the fucking way it is!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Well, the information being taken away is the information of where to find certain news items. However, there’s nothing to stop some enterprising Spanish agency from building their own aggregator — even one that is “push” based instead of “pull” based, where Spanish newspapers subscribe to the aggregation service. Since this isn’t what Google was doing, and their service did not comply with Spanish law, they had no choice but to pull the service — they may start up an alternative, but it’s likely not worth the effort. But if Spahish newspapers consider it worth the effort, they can put their money where their mouths are, and create or subscribe to such a service themselves.

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“Well, the information being taken away is the information of where to find certain news items.”

Even that info is not being taken away, it’s just not being provided in a convenient manner by one particular company. Stop trying to paint this with a censorship brush, it’s nothing of the sort.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

what are you smoking… there is no censorship. People can go to whatever site they want (if they can locate it). If the newspapers want readers to find their site than they can subscribe to a pay service that would direct readers to their site when people searched for news… oh wait that is what Google was doing for free. So the AEDE is a “censorship” organization in your view since it lobbied for this law.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: Re: WTF?

And I can’t see how “picking and choosing some news to be shut off is censorship, but picking and choosing ALL news to be shut off isn’t” is an argument.

Then you simply don’t know what the word means.

Censorship by definition is “picking winners and losers”. Google isn’t doing that if it decides to take it’s ball and go home.

Google is no monopoly. ANY ONE can choose to provide an alternative. They will even quickly show up in a Google search. That’s why most of this whining about Google is so absurd.

There is no vendor lock. There is no barrier to entry. Switching products is trivial for the end user.

The Spanish publishers could even create their own service if they wanted to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It is censorship. If Google picks and chooses what they aggregate based on something, then someone is being censored. If Google makes a top 10 list of most popular articles for the week, then all the news that didn’t make that list is being censored from that list, but it’s still available. If Google doesn’t make a top 10 list every week, people don’t come back and say,”Google is censoring the top 10 articles by not putting them in the list.” I just used that as an example to make the lines clearer where censorship is.

Anyways, so if Google chooses based on some criteria, whether popularity, if a reporter has made them mad, or if a news paper is paying them or not, they are censoring somebody. But if news agencies say,”we need agregators to keep us in business”. And the government says,”agregators need to pay these fees” knowing that the fees are high enough to keep companies from becoming or continuing to be agregators, it’s the government that is doing the censoring.

Dave Cortright says:

Re: Re: Re:2 You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Censorship is the attempt to completely suppress information from any broad public access. Google is not doing that. It is perfectly acceptable for anyone (you, me, Google, even racists and facists) to rank certain things over others. Consumer Reports does this. So does Meta Critic and Pete Rates the Props.

But by doing so, all that information—including the stuff the editor thought was inferior—is left in the world to fend for itself. It has not been censored. The simple lack of promotion is not censorship. And no one—including the Spanish press—has an inalienable right to be promoted by Google or anyone else.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I really don’t see how Google’s actions here would fall under the umbrella of ‘censorship’ at all. They were told that they would have to pay to provide advertising for other sites, something that they were previously doing for free. They declined this ‘generous’ offer, and since the law made it so that they had no choice to continue to offer the service to those willing to be listed on it for free, they pulled the service entirely.

They’re not stopping anyone from communicating, they’re just no longer providing a free way to make the communications easier, due to the legal problems posed by it.

David says:

Re: Re:

I understand that they are dominant, but how does this turn into ‘dangerous monopolistic tendencies’? They provide a free product(s), search and news in this case, that is massively popular. In return for the traffic they bring you, they request the title of your news articles, and the snippet you publish with it (these are typically in the form of RSS which is published voluntarily by the news organizations).

If you don’t want Google to use your snippets and titles to link to the article, you don’t have to let them. However, you also can’t require that Google pay you for linking to your site.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re:

… its dangerous monopolistic tendencies …

Which ones are those? Are you suggesting websites and advertisers have no choice but to use Google adwords & etc? I think you’re quite mistaken.

… its censorship in some cases (there’s a valid point to be made in this situation that Google’s closing down of news feeds in Spain over a silly copyright squabble resembles censorship in some form)

No, there isn’t. How can that be blamed on Google? Censorship?!? That’s ridiculous.

… and its overall capitalist elitism.

Uh huh. That’s just stupid (sorry). It’s a corporation. It’s job (policed by the FTC) is to make money for shareholders, pay taxes, and provide employment. That’s all. It’s not an NGO nor a charity of any kind. Google is not what defines the rules in any of that.

… pathetic on all fronts.

You got that right.

David says:

Re: Re:

Any business in Spain attempting to fill this void will be required to pay for the privilege of aggregation as well. Can anyone do this and maintain a profit? If the government does it, it will still have to pay the news agencies the linking fees as it’s compulsory.

This was a bad law. They are starting to see that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

As I pointed out already, there’s a way around it — make the replacement subscription instead of aggregation — meaning all the papers have to submit their content to the service, complete with whatever ads they want served. They would of course have to pay for the privilege, and sign contracts waiving any further fees.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

With the side effect, that only the wealthy companies would be able to do it – ones that have a big market share. Like… Google?

So the end result will be – Google will be able to negotiate the subscription deal, but small players will not. And so the “Google tax”, meant as a stick, will instead benefit Google.

Well done, Spain.

DannyB (profile) says:

I said this earlier

Spain needs to form an Inquisition

Spain should form an inquisition to seek out and punish publishers who are secretly willing to publish content for free, which is against human rights.

Furthermore Spain can simply pass a law requiring Google to forever operate Google News in Spain, according to the laws of Spain.

Dave Cortright says:

So they are going to give a competitive advantage to only Google?

If I’m reading this right, the proposal is to keep the law in place, but to carve out an exception for the dominant news aggregator. That seems completely unfair and is only going to make it harder for all other news aggregators (and presumably other news organizations and bloggers referencing news stories) to compete.

They need to just cut their losses, reverse the whole of this fundamentally flawed law, and chalk it up to a hard-learned lesson.

Who Cares (profile) says:

Re: Alert the competition authorities!

The problem being that aggregators that could take the place of Google are either shutting down as well or looking at ways to move out of Spain while still providing their services.
About the only aggregator that might be safe is Twitter because you can barely cram a headline and a link in a tweet. And that is not even a guarantee with how the new law can be read

Anonymous Coward says:

Maybe I am a bit colored in my views...

but I have always enjoyed Googles services. I get a lot for free. Yes, I know they collect search data and serve up adds based on those and I haven’t read enough into the subject to determine if they mess with the searches, (other than what they are forced to by laws) but I don’t feel it in my everyday use. I do think this is why they are so dominant. Mainly because people just… like them. It seems that many businesses have gone away from that approach these days.
I also really like when they can do things like this. Whether it is purely for their own gain or to make a point, they do set a precedent to oppose those who can and will make stupid laws based on their greed and sense of entitlement. Many of us know these stupid laws ought to bite these people in their own asses, but we so rarely get to see it happen, and it is always a joy to watch.

Anonymous Coward says:

It doesn't just gut the new law...

The only workable option is to take the route followed in Germany: to give Google a special deal that allows it to carry on as before, but without having to pay — which would gut the new copyright law completely.

Actually, it wouldn’t gut the new law – it would turn it completely on its head.

This was pitched as an anti-Google law – and it is. Giving Google the chance to opt-out (without repealing the law itself) would make it a pro-Google law (because everybody who’s not Google would be forced to pay, while Google wouldn’t.)

Anonymous Coward says:

I think the funniest bit of that linked article is this:

Irene Lanzaco, a spokeswoman for AEDE, told The Spain Report by telephone that “we’re not asking Google to take a step backwards, we’ve always been open to negotiations with Google” but, she said: “Google has not taken a neutral stance”.

No shit Google has not taken a neutral stance. They aren’t a neutral party in this case, they’re one of the parties targeted by this law, and as a business, they take the stance that will be in their best interests. As such they’ve taken a stance opposed to the AEDE, which itself is not a neutral party.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You have to keep in mind the kind of person making the comments. To someone who thinks that a company that provides increased traffic to sites and companies you run/represent, should have to pay for the ‘privilege’ of doing so, ‘negotiations’ is shorthand for ‘Agreeing to do everything we say’ and a ‘neutral stance’ is shorthand for ‘My stance on the subject’.

Anonymous Coward says:

German publishers are now asking Angela Merkel to change the manifestly broken German approach to using news snippets online, by copying the even more backward-looking Spanish law
Last I read about that was that a manager of Springer, Keese, who also seems to be spokesperson for VG Media said they were hoping for the EU namely Oettinger to make a law based on the spanish example.
In Germany they can’t do much because there is a lawsuit between VG Media and Google at the patent and trademark office which will expedited next year according to a government spokesperson.

So the EU relies on Oettinger who is known for his competence…God help us all!

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: WTF?

I think the key here is discrimination. Google is not doing any discriminating. They aren’t “curating”. They aren’t doing the Apple thing of picking winners and losers.

Without this culling process, there can be no censorship. That’s definition might work for governments that can enforce suppression of everyone everywhere but it makes no sense for a private company.

Giving up is simply giving up.

Labeling this as “censorship” is just feeding someone’s mindless hate-on.

Anonymous Coward says:

what this shows, more than anything, is how governments and courts allow themselves to be influenced by people lobbying for a particular industry, rather than using common sense and reason. Australia is just as bad with Brandis so far up the entertainment industries ass, he cant get tough enough laws in place quick enough. it’s only after ridiculous are put in place and the aftermath leaks out that the total stupidity has led to unrealised results. the thing to do then is not only amend what has gone shits up, but get the fucking lobbyists thrown out as well, so as to be unable to cause nothing but trouble in the future.
the same thing needs to happen to the entertainment industries in the USA and UK as well as other places where the lobbying done has similarly led governments, politicians and courts to go down a road that leads to nothing except an industry relying on selling make believe to customers to exist, now gets them thrown into jail!! and that’s a good business model??

kenichi tanaka (profile) says:

This really isn’t any surprise. BY the way, there’s really nothing Spain, the European Union or any governmental body can do to force Google to stay or to force them to keep running the site.

This is asinine to think that anyone can force Google to keep that website running. It’s like forcing an employer to stay in business when they are running at a loss just to prevent the unemployment rate from increasing.

If Google decides they ant to close down Google News in Spain, there really isn’t anything anybody can do to stop them. Perhaps if Spain wasn’t so gung-ho about passing such an extreme version of copyright law, then this wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

Oh, I love the AEDE’s response: AEDE requires the intervention of Spanish and community authorities, and competition authorities, to effectively protect the rights of citizens and companies.

Uh, pardon me if I’m incorrect in saying this, but didn’t the AEDE lobby heavily for Spain’s new draconian copyright law? Spain has already intervened with this new copyright law. Now that they tried to bluff Google, Google called their bluff and decided to pull out the Nuclear Option and effectively shut down Google News in Spain and are scrubbing all Spain news publishers from every international edition of Google News. Now, AEDE is claiming that Google’s move will harm Spain’s economy?

Excuse me, but Spain failed to learn the lessons that Germany was forced to learn? Come to think of it, Axel Springer is the same moron who tried to force Google’s hand in Germany and he’s also the same news media mogul who pushed for Spain’s copyright law.

Well, Spain just shot itself in the foot. Google is shutting down its Google News services in Spain and is blacklisting Spain’s news publishers from all of its Google News outlets. I guess they’ll have to generate their own traffic now, without the help of Google News.

kenichi tanaka (profile) says:

Spain officials are morons. They said that bloggers and social media would not be subject to this law, which is a lie. Bloggers, social media and any website that sends traffic to news publisher websites will also be subject to this ‘licensing fee’. News publishers in Spain want to be paid when you send internet users to their websites.

Talk about being asinine. That is very arrogant.

kenichi tanaka (profile) says:

AC, what a moronic statement. This isn’t a silly copyright squabble. Spain’s law was aimed directly at Google because the major news publishers in Spain don’t believe in fair use and that just posting news snippets isn’t violating true copyright law.

Google wasn’t making any money off Google News and the news publishers benefited more from featuring those news publishers in its service, free of charge.

The fact is that news publishers in Spain thought they could bluff Google and ended up having their bluff called. When you’re holding a pair of deuces, you don’t try to bluff the other players into thinking you have a better hand because you’re already betting on a losing hand.

Fact is, Google called Spain’s bluff and just opted to shut down their news service in Spain. This law is nothing more than an attempt to penalize U.S.-based tech companies and it seems that the E.U., as a whole, has set its sights on Google, as there are a number of investigations and bills being considered to not only tax Google but also to break them up.

If Spain wants its news services back, then they can create their own news aggregators. Oh, wait. Spain’s news aggregators would also be subject to this new copyright law.

Who Cares (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Guess who sponsored the please consider breaking up Google request that the European parliament voted on.
A Spanish and a German MEP.
The german one has a conflict of interest by working for the law firm that wrote the German Google Tax law.

What is worse is the cluelessness of the MEPs when it comes to search engines. For example demanding unbiased search results. Uh I want the results biased so that I don’t have to go through all the pages to be sure that I find what are the most relevant results.

That said I’m waiting for the usual suspects to use this move by Google to cast it in a bad light with regard to the anti-trust probe that has been going on for the last few years (and to which it was found guilty). One of the complainers that got the probe started just happens to be the cartel of German publishers that got that Google Tax going in Germany.

dadtaxi says:

pass a new law making it compulsory for Google to keep its Google News service running at a loss

“pass a new law making it compulsory for Google to keep its Google News service running at a loss”

Oh please please make this happen. Google will then immediately withdraw all services to Spain, and the public backlash over YouTube (let alone Gmail etc) would be the best popcorn moment in the history of the internet ever …. for about 24 hours

kenichi tanaka (profile) says:

The biggest problem that nobody has realized is that the AEDE, has just been granted expansive powers under the new copyright law, meaning that news publishers wouldn’t be collecting those payments directly, it would be the AEDE collecting those licensing payments for the news publishers.

Spain needs another rights organization like we need another dictator.

The moron who stated that this law set a precedent is totally ignorant of how the law works. Precedents are only set by a court of law, where a decision by a court has such far reaching consequences that it affects other court cases in the future. LAWS do not set precedents, as they are constantly overturned all the time or repealed.

Seriously, learn how the freaking law works before you show people exactly how ignorant you really are.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No profit

Google search, and news, are seperate things. One has ads and gets confused with ‘the internet’. The other does not have ads, gives news snippets, and can run for free because google is not a news company. It is a search engine company with a bunch of extra services, youtube included among the latter.

Just because a company makes a profit does not mean everything it does is profitable, and you’ve made your otherwise average comment dumb.

some old guy says:

A real opportunity here...

First it was Amercian newspapers, then it was German, now Spain pulls this crap (and is that Germany grumbling in the background again?).

As long as a deal is reached before any real pain is felt, this issue will continue popping up. Google has an opportunity to take a real swing at the global copyright maximalists.

Google needs to withdraw as planned and not accept any last-minute deals; especially those that would exempt only Google while leaving the law in place to harm others. Google should tell Spain that they’ve proven themselves to be bad actors, suspend service as planned, and then review the situation in six months. At which time, if Spain has cleaned up it’s laws and politics, Google will *consider* reinstating services.

Spain must feel the pain…

tqk (profile) says:

Re: A real opportunity here...

Google needs to withdraw as planned and not accept any last-minute deals …

That would be silly. Google’s got Spain by the cojones because Spanish users and businesses don’t want to lose Google’s services. Lose that and Google loses what leverage they have.

However, “Get rid of AEDE, and we’ll suspend the suspension” might be a good way to go. If that works, go after all the other extortionists, er … “licensing authorities” in Germany, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, …

kenichi tanaka (profile) says:

Morons. Google does not censor. If anything, it’s the liberal news publications who continue to be biased and they NEVER EVER present both sides of the issue. How many times have we seen the media cherry pick their stories to make President Obama and the Democrats look good. I can’t remember the last time news media reported or published an article that reported on a Democrats violating his moral or ethical obligations to the taxpayers of this country.

if you think that Google is censoring anything, I’ve got news for you. It’s the media. I can’t remember the last time I saw an investigative report done by the media. It’s just become a propaganda machine for liberals.

Don’t blame Google, blame the news media. After all, these are the same morons who keep removing the ability for their readers to comment on their articles or editorial decisions and they defend their actions, claiming that banning comments is a good thing for news publishers.

Hell, Huffington Post deletes comments all the time when someone posts a negative message about Democrats or question how their policies are destroying this country by not reigning in police harassment or in their unwillingness to repeal The Patriot Act, the NDAA and warrantless wiretapping.

When was the last time you read an article at a news publisher where they investigate the abuses of law enforcement or the out of control copyright policies in this country.

Anonymous Coward says:

Once again, it seems that an obsession with “protecting” copyright from imaginary harm causes otherwise rational people to lose the ability to think properly.

They are thinking fine. You just need to remember that many a lawyers job is to create work for themselves. How many hours of work have been billed over this already? What have they accomplished other than more work for themselves?

kenichi tanaka (profile) says:

The AEDE are frakking morons. Not only is Spain asking for Spain to force Google News to stay open, they also did not request that the new copyright law be repealed, that they are demanding that Google News in Spain remain open and that they be forced to pay the ‘Google Tax’ for news snippet licensing.

LOLS

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2859176/why-google-should-leave-europe.html

What a bunch of morons. Good luck on that. No wonder their unemployment rate is 25%. It’s about to get bigger.

Paul keating (profile) says:

AEDA is a collections agency

what you missed Is that AEDA Is the COLLECTIONS AGENCY that was to received ALL the money. So what they wanted was (1) require Google (and other consolidation services) to pay AEDA, AND (2) prevent any content supplier from giving it away (so AEDA would have an assured revenue stream. NOW, when faced with shut-downs, (3) ask for a law preventing the consolidators from closing.

They want to force Google to stay in business so Google will be forced to pay them. Talk about a twisted sense of entitlement!!!!

kenichi tanaka (profile) says:

What AEDE fails to realize is that nobody can force any business, corporation, entity or individual to keep their website operating or to keep their business from closing. Governments simply do not have the ability to do that.

If Google decides it wants to shut down its website in Spain, there is absolutely nothing Spain can do to prevent that.

I find it ridiculous that AEDE wants to keep the new copyright law but also wants to force it to keep operating its website in Spain. That’s like a government forcing you to remain in their country and to keep paying taxes, even though you want to leave the country and move elsewhere.

Spain has no jurisdiction over Google and if Google wants to shut down its services, there is nothing anyone can do about it.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If Google decides it wants to shut down its website in Spain, there is absolutely nothing Spain can do to prevent that.

Yet.

Just wait, odds are they’ll try and have their cake and eat it too, by trying some insane scheme(if I had to guess, probably something along the lines about how Google is ‘discriminating’ against Spain by refusing to offer the same services in Spain as are available in other countries) to force Google to continue offering their news service in the country, and therefor pay out under the new law. Never underestimate the sense of entitlement shown by parasites like them.

John says:

Info missing

There is a very significant piece of information which is actually missing in the article: Google is actually making money from news in Spain as members of the AEDE are actually using Google ads technology. Yep, you read that right.

In other words, what is important to consider is that It is really not sure News is operating at a loss and what AEDE may feel and definitely hints at is Google leaving money on the table because the company wants to punish them and make Spain an example so that other European countries don’t pass similar laws.

So, this is a case of a quasi monopolistic player inflicting itself a jab because it doesn’t want to deal with another round.

This, if true, could actually be severely punished by the European Comission, especially as Google has been trying its utmost not solving problems the EU has been rising.

jameskatt (profile) says:

The Spanish Publishers are simply IDIOTS

They should live – or not live – with the law they created to force Google to pay for their content or leave Spain.

Now that the consequences of Google leaving are clear, they should simply beg to destroy their new law.

Cry and beg you idiotic Spanish publishers. You created your bed so sleep in it. Isn’t their enough food in Spain. Aren’t their jobs in Spain?

Jeff (profile) says:

No problem

Is there really a problem here? Spain is hardly the only Spanish speaking country.

Google doesn’t need to literally shut down Google News in Spain. Articles about Spanish news stories published online in other countries, especially Spanish speaking countries, like Mexico.

In fact, any Spanish paper wishing to maintain it’s online presence can simply move all their online activities abroad, maybe that’ll require spiting up the company or something.

And Spanish blogs aren’t really effected by this law, right? Google can still index Spanish blogs, right? Just make that indexing faster so Spanish people looking for news see the Spanish blogs :
https://www.google.es/#q=Anarquismo+blog+Espa%C3%B1a
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism_in_Spain

Anonymous Coward says:

How to make Google even more dominant.

Funnily enough, what Germany did in their haste to “punish” Google was making sure Google will have an absolutely dominant position. By introducing law requiring everyone to pay, and then exempting Google they’ve made sure no start-up will be able to compete with Google – not being able to pay for snippets and not being big enough to hurt publishers by removing them.

So will probably be the outcome in Spain.

On a side note – the publishers in Spain and Germany just proved they are complete retards. Now – what is the point reading newspapers published by retards, I have no idea; maybe it is some kind of a obsessive-compulsive behaviour?

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