Google Pulls Out The Nuclear Option: Shuts Down Google News In Spain Over Ridiculous Copyright Law

from the bad-copyright-policy dept

Back in October, we noted that Spain had passed a ridiculously bad Google News tax, in which it required any news aggregator to pay for snippets and actually went so far as to make it an "inalienable right" to be paid for snippets -- meaning that no one could choose to let any aggregator post snippets for free. Publishers have to charge any aggregator. This is ridiculous and dangerous on many levels. As we noted, it would be deathly for digital commons projects or any sort of open access project, which thrive on making content reusable and encouraging the widespread sharing of such content.

Apparently, it's also deathly for Google News in Spain. A few hours ago, Google announced that due to this law, it was shutting down Google News in Spain, and further that it would be removing all Spanish publications from the rest of Google News. In short, Google went for the nuclear option in the face of a ridiculously bad law:
But sadly, 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.
Every time there have been attempts to get Google to cough up some money to publishers in this or that country, people (often in our comments) suggest that Google should just "turn off" Google News in those countries. Google has always resisted such calls. Even in the most extreme circumstances, it's just done things like removing complaining publications from Google News, or posting the articles without snippets. In both cases, publishers quickly realized how useful Google News was in driving traffic and capitulated. In this case, though, it's not up to the publishers. It's entirely up to the law.

The reason the law made it an "inalienable right" was to prevent Google from just removing those publishers. Instead, the end result is it got Google to shut down the whole thing, and deprive every Spanish publication not of money, but of traffic -- which may be much more important.
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. We’re committed to helping the news industry meet that challenge and look forward to continuing to work with our thousands of partners globally, as well as in Spain, to help them increase their online readership and revenues.
And the really stupid thing in all this is that, as Google notes, it wasn't even placing ads on Google News in Spain. So it's not even that publishers could claim that Google was "profiting" from driving such traffic to their sites.

So, nice going Spanish politicians. Your new copyright law not only makes you a laughingstock for pushing a ridiculous industry-driven legislation, but you've made life worse off for everyone. Citizens lose an important way to find relevant news. Publishers lose a big traffic driver. Open access and digital commons are now effectively dead in Spain as well. Who has won here?

Even if you're a Google hater who is happy to see a country pass a clearly anti-Google law, there are much bigger issues here, as pointed out by the EFF, which highlights how this law is an attack on the basic right to link:

What concerns EFF more is that these ancillary copyright laws form part of a broader trend of derogation from the right to link. This can be seen when you examine the other parts of the Spanish copyright amendments that take effect in January (here in PDF)notably placing criminal liability on website operators who refuse to remove mere links to copyright-infringing material.

This year's European Court of Justice ruling against Google Spain on the so-called Right to be Forgotten, is part of the same larger trend, in requiring search engines to remove links to content judged to be “irrelevant”, even if the content is true. We are also disturbed by comments made by new European Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger who has foreshadowed [German] a broader roll-out of ancillary copyright rules throughout the EU.

Online intermediaries may be a convenient scapegoat for the fading fortunes of European newspaper publishers, but banning the use of text snippets alongside website links is a misguided and—now self-evidently—counter-productive approach. Once it becomes illegal for aggregators to freely link news summaries to publicly-available websites, it becomes that much easier for those who want to prohibit other sorts of links, such as links to political YouTube videos, to make their case.

Hopefully politicians in the rest of Europe take notice, before pushing forward with similarly short-sighted attacks on linking and aggregating.

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  • icon
    Dave Cortright (profile), 10 Dec 2014 @ 11:48pm

    Spain? Never heard of it. Is that T-pain's son?

    I'd love to hear how the people and politicians in Spain react to this news, but that's not going to happen since my primary source is Google News.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Bengie, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:19am

      Re: Spain? Never heard of it. Is that T-pain's son?

      They won't know it's happening because they won't have Google News to find it for them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:21am

        Re: Re: Spain? Never heard of it. Is that T-pain's son?

        whats worse...is if/when this gets reversed....Google won't know that its ok to turn back on

        unless someone physically mails them a newspaper snippet

        but, Google will not be able to prepare...because it is now costly to share information originating in Spain

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 8:12am

      Re: Spain? Never heard of it. Is that T-pain's son?

      wouldn't S-pain produce T-pain?

      anyway - the older generation is now - really - stuck in the dark ages

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Simon, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:19am

    Regular results?

    Does this also apply to regular search results, which also show "snippets" from the page?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:27am

    Mike Masnick just hates the enforcement of copyright law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:33am

      Re:

      You are an idiot if you think that in any way this is going to help someone holding a copyright.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:23am

      Re:

      He should. Copyright in its currently form only exists because of excessive corporate lobbying, and often works against the public interest. The story in question is a good example.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:53am

      Re:

      Masnick is a moderate on copyright law. I am an extremist, as I support the complete destruction of all forms of "intellectual property" -- the very concept itself is as stupid as "creationism".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OldGeezer (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:34am

      Re:

      You ignorant troll. Can't you at least come up with something new? Same old shit day after day.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 8:12am

        Re: Re:

        You've clearly mistaken me for a different troll. That's the first time I've made that remark (or any equivalent remark) here.

        And besides: I'm not trolling. "Intellectual property" is an oxymoron: it's the fatuous conceit of inferior people who can't grasp the rather rudimentary idea that ideas are not and can not be property. In their ignorance, in their greed, in their self-centered and entirely myopic world view, they have the audacity to believe that ideas are not the shared property of everyone, but merely their own.

        And they are so fixated on this, so sure of it, so doggedly determined to adhere to it, that they are willing to hold back science, kill millions (one of the effects of IP laws on drugs), retard progress, inhibit education, and stymie justice. All because they think ideas can be property.

        These people are enemies of humanity -- as much as any mass-murdering dictator or freedom-destroying tyrant. They do damage on an enormous scale and justify it -- at least to themselves and those like them -- by claiming that their non-existent "property" rights trump all.

        They are despicable.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          art guerrilla (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 9:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          i'm with you, the harms done under the name of copyright are born by us all, but the benefits ONLY accrue to (mostly) korporate personages...
          on balance, be BETTER OFF with ZERO copyright laws...

          will repeat what i saw on a comment elsewhere: okay, bigshot korporate copy maximalists, let us adopt YOUR VALUES/MEANINGS, and make 'intellectual property' a real thing...
          NOW, let us TAX IP at some reasonable rate and find out how loud you squeal that 'intellectual property' isn't 'property' after all...
          slime balls, all of them...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 10:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm guessing you've mistaken which AC he was calling a troll. Unless I'm mistaking which AC you are. And I'm not either one, but I'm with you on IP abolition. All clear?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 11:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well said.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:43pm

      Re:

      average_joe just hates it when due process is enforced.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:28am

    I would say...

    Hi Spain, welcome back to the dark ages!

    But I suspect they'll never find this article or this comment...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:32am

    I suspect there are going to be some politicians in Spain gonna be hunting dark holes to crawl in when the blame starts getting passed around.

    Those that were pushing for payment for everything and counting their money before it came in are in for a rude shock when their citizens have to go to other countries to find out what is going on in their own.

    Heaven help that the people of Spain get pissed and refuse to buy magazines and newspapers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:33am

    Hopefully politicians in the rest of Europe take notice, before pushing forward with similarly short-sighted attacks on linking and aggregating.

    What makes you think this is short-sighted by the politicians, as an ignorant population is much more easily ruled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Deniable Sources, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:34am

    And thus we see ...

    The entire country of Spain taking advantage of their "right to be forgotten". Nice knowing you...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:36am

    Mike, you are wrong in your conclusion. The next step is for Spain and a Spanish Newspaper to sue Google in the EU Courts for NOT quoting and linking, therefore violating their right to be remembered!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Rich P (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:47am

    How long ...

    before politicians in Spain realise that the only version of the news, and the only opinions expressed that their electorate see, is provided by foreign media.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:55am

    as usual, the problem is 'linked' for want of a better term, to the incessantly greedy entertainment industries, of one form or another. although it is a shame that Google has had to take this drastic action, it is a bigger shame that so many governments and courts are always gunning for it! it just seems to me that Google isn't liked, simply because of it's success in many fields and it's overall size. the thing i think Google itself should have done a long time ago is to have made a much greater, firmer stance against those industries mentioned above and also stuck up more for the people it relies on so much to keep it successful, us the ordinary citizens! it has done a lot in trying to keep the entertainment industries happy, to stop the continual whinging and whining but it has never been enough. if Google were to try to make a serious stand against things now, it has already left it too late, and shot itself down! i wouldn't be surprised if it did try to make a stand, the lateness of doing so going against it, that various courts and governments would fight to get it disbanded altogether!! just what is wanted and heading towards since the ridiculous move by the EU and it's 'Right to be Forgotten'! that was done to please certain important, influential figures and i'll bet is just a step towards what is really wanted, ie, the right to stop various information from being shown on the website, which is a move to massive censorship!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:56am

    Nobody expects the Spanish news tax

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:17am

    Just a battle, not the war

    I think it'll be interesting to see the spin that arises from this at the EU. Their recent proposal that search engines should be separated off from any other activities performed by a company doesn't really have anything to do with this (or with reality, for that matter) but I can see it being used as supporting evidence of Google being a "bad actor" that needs to be brought down to size.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:59am

      Re: Just a battle, not the war

      I thought the same thing. There will be hysterical cries of how Google is so powerful that they are pushing around the government. All without a hint of hypocrisy, as they allow the entitlement crowd to write new laws.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:16pm

        Re: Re: Just a battle, not the war

        No no, big difference.

        The rich and powerful, they buy the government.

        A large company like Google 'pushes around' the government by refusing to go comply with a law designed to screw them over and instead removing the aspects of their business that would have been affected.

        Only one of those puts money in political pockets, and is therefor acceptable, the other doesn't, and is therefor a heinous abuse of power.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 8:30am

      Re: Just a battle, not the war

      One of the most important reasonings for splitting Google is to ensure that NSA doesn't have as unproblematic access to Googles data as the Ireland court order suggested. It is about making data valuable for NSA to buy from foreign secret services instead of acquiring from other means...

      I don't agree that search needs to be separated from every other service. I just hope for the advertisement part being split from search in all the large search engines. In that way the valuation of the services provided by a search company will be closer to a free market valuation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:19am

    And mysteriously one Finnish site (ampparit dot com) had been manually changing all newsarticles headlines for a very long time. Wonder why...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    bob, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:19am

    Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

    Only GOOG could believe that they could get something for nothing. Reporting stories takes time and energy. Yet they didn't want to kick back any of their revenues to support the reporters. For shame.

    So I say, "Good riddance to Google News, Leeches All."

    And quit quoting the EFF, another group funded by GOOG for moments just like this. They're just lapdogs who do what their master says.

    This has nothing to do with linking. It has to do with quoting and repurposing facts without adding to the dialog.

    I have no problem with the way that this blog uses extensive quotes from hard working reporters because it usually adds something to the debate. (Yes, it adds the wrong headed, muddled opinion, but that's your right.) GOOG adds nothing.

    And why does GOOG continue to maintain that it makes nothing off of news. That's not what Marissa Mayer claimed.

    http://fortune.com/2008/07/22/whats-google-news-worth-100-million/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:23am

      Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

      I want your babies, you sexy copyright enforcer, you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:45pm

        Re: Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

        Does your wife know you're using her laptop to mancrush on trolls, fuckface?

        Why do you even bother creating an account when you're just going to whine about how you don't use it?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:26am

      Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

      If you are right and Google only leaches and doesn't provide any value for Spanish publishers, then the publishers will now be better off.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:31am

      Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

      Yeah, how dare Google refuse to support reporters by sending them thousands of readers for free.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:34am

      Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

      Lets look back on that statement in a year from now. Besides the rage from spanish netmedia at Google quitting instead of paying up, we will likely see another perspective from them too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chris ODonnell (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:32am

      Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

      I predict 7-10 days before the Spanish news sites are screaming to turn Google News back on. It's very likely a large percentage of their inbound traffic just went away. It's kind of hard to sell ads on a website with no traffic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:03am

        Re: Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

        Aaaaah, presents. Do you thing this should be wrapped for Christmas or New Years?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        harbingerofdoom (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 1:17pm

        Re: Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

        and it wont matter in any way.... it isnt the news sites that took the action, its legislation.
        Sure they will run back to google screaming for them to turn it back up... but the spanish govt has pretty much forced google into the position with no alternative way out.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:36am

      Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

      So, no facts, tortured logic and outright lies? It's a day with an y in it already? Time does fly...

      "So I say, "Good riddance to Google News, Leeches All.""

      Who are you referring to when you say that? The site that provides a useful service, the people who use that service for free to find news stories or the news sites that depend on the traffic sent via said service without paying them for the traffic? You have to be clearer as to who you're lying about.

      "And why does GOOG continue to maintain that it makes nothing off of news. That's not what Marissa Mayer claimed. "

      Oh dear, your reading comprehension is sending you into fictional wonderlands again? From the header of the article you linked:

      "Google News might not make money on its own, but it drives $100 million worth of search."

      She doesn't say they make money, she says that news makes no money directly, but generates other revenue. You know, like the article you attacking clearly says.

      So, still too stupid to understand the difference between direct revenue and leveraging free services to generate revenue elsewhere? You know, like everyone keeps saying your failing heroes should do instead of obsessing over how much they could make if only they could outlaw competition?

      You'd have thought you'd at least have stumbled across reality once or twice in all the time you've spent bullshitting here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:45am

      Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

      If you do not like Google, make your own.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:46am

      Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

      Not making them anything in Spain, is it?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Goyo (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:57am

      Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

      "It has to do with quoting and repurposing facts without adding to the dialog."

      Actually they are adding traffic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      prodigitalson (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:11am

      Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

      So let me get this straight... you think this is good for publishers and consumers? I don't understand in what universe this could be construed that way. No one is going to pay for the ability to publish a quote from an article, or link up a headline and article. Thats ridiculous, and its in direct conflict with how the internet and search engines work.

      If anything google and other search engines are helping drive traffic to the originating sites. I mean no one is going to go to 3 sources individually and search a topic... aggregation just makes sense.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:26am

      Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

      GOOG adds nothing.

      That must be why nobody uses it. Oh wait.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:37am

      Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

      "Only GOOG could believe that they could get something for nothing."

      So, sending a ton of traffic to the newspaper's websites where they can be monetized is "nothing" now?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        OldMugwump (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 9:38am

        Re: Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

        GOOG is the company that became huge by giving something for nothing.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 9:47am

          Re: Re: Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

          I think understand your point, but Google has never given something for nothing. You pay for their services by letting them spy on you.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 11:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical GOOG apology-- you don't get something for nothing

            Can it really be spying if I choose not to know about it?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Khaim (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 3:53pm

            Re: Spying

            "Spy" is a rather derogatory term. They collect information to provide services. One of those services happens to be "ads for things you actually care about".

            It's like saying your bank or phone company is "spying" on you because they have all this personal data. If you want to use their product then there's no way for them not to have your data.

            In both cases no humans will ever see your data. In theory they could, but personally I trust Google's internal data security a lot more than BigBankInc or EvilPhoneCompany.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 12 Dec 2014 @ 8:30am

              Re: Re: Spying

              ""Spy" is a rather derogatory term."

              That's why I used it.

              "One of those services happens to be "ads for things you actually care about"."

              Which isn't actually a service from my point of view. That's how you're paying.

              "It's like saying your bank or phone company is "spying" on you because they have all this personal data."

              You misunderstand. Data collected that is relevant to and used exclusively for providing me with goods and services is not what I'm talking about.

              But Google collects far more than that. Google collects everything it can (whether its relevant to providing me services I asked for or not)in order to build as complete of a profile on me as a consumer that they can. They do this not to facilitate the services they provide me with, but so they can sell ad space for more money.

              "In both cases no humans will ever see your data."

              That couldn't be less relevant.

              "In theory they could, but personally I trust Google's internal data security a lot more than BigBankInc or EvilPhoneCompany."

              Internal security also doesn't enter into it. Internal security is an effort to stop the data from being used in ways the company doesn't want it to be used. My concern is about the activities the company does engage in.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tobias Harms (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:23am

    Google shut down the regular search service as well in Spain.
    Let's see how much Google "steal" from Spanish sites by linking to them :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:43am

    Just wait until the publishers in Spain start complaining to Google about this. The last time this happened, Google removed all links to those media organizations from Google's websites all across the spectrum because they wanted to get paid and then they withdrew when they saw their web traffic drop dramatically.

    This new copyright law is going to do the same thing but this time around, it isn't going to be an easy fix because this is a law that has been passed in Spain. Not only is web traffic going to drop for all of those media organizations in Spain, but Google News is being shut down in Spain and all references to those media organizations is being wiped from Google News all across the spectrum.

    Nicely done, Spain has killed web traffic for Spain news organizations in their own country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:47am

    I also find it odd that Mike left out some important facts when writing the article above. It's not the politicians who pushed for this law. ironically, Spain's AEDE association, which represents large news publishers, lobbied for the law nicknamed the "Google Tax."

    AEDE might have royally screwed their publishers over this law. I just love irony. Good luck, Spain news organizations, I hope you can generate web traffic by yourself, because Google isn't going to help you on that front.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    YoMamma, 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:00am

    Really?

    Google says that it is going to remove all the Spanish info stored and blablabla, like anyone cares for Google, after they left the Searching features to start exploring other products and markets, it has a lot of products but none of them really works. So Google.... shut up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:02am

    According to commenters on Spanish websites, while a small few are praising the new law, the majority are slamming the Spanish government over this law, stating that it's dumb to enforce this law with unemployment rates at 25%.

    No wonder Spain has such a high unemployment rate, when they pass moronic laws such as this copyright law.

    I expect a short time before Spanish news media starts bitching about Google News shutting down and the resulting media backlash over the new law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TruthHurts (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:05am

    More proof that European legislators are idiots...

    Google doesn't monopolize the search industry. It doesn't control the search industry. It doesn't steal anything from anyone.

    Google links to information on people's sites. For google news, it includes small snippets that whet the appetites of readers making them want to visit the news sites.

    Readers / Users pick Google search and Google news because they've come to know and trust Google's results.

    All of these idiotic European legislators that are believing greedy corporations over their own constituents wants (remember, it's their constituents that use Google) just shows who's really in charge in Europe (America isn't any different with our corporate overlords ruling Congress and the White House).

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      identicon
      Mr. Oizo, 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:02am

      Re: More proof that European legislators are idiots...

      Google doesn't steal ? Yeah right. Their employees are often naive young nerds that are seriously underpaid for their qualifications. How many open source did Google fork off to make a mess of it ? In effect given a negative value back. (Think android, which is now more windows like in regard to stability than linux).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mr. Oizo, 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:03am

      Re: More proof that European legislators are idiots...

      and let us not forget the constant bait-and-switch strategies they use. Have a website making 250 EUR/month on ads, you have to switch to admob... making 5 cents per month. How can you explain that their profits keep on rising while the payouts for ads is abysmal low.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mr. Oizo, 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:05am

      Re: More proof that European legislators are idiots...

      And if you don't believe what I said, I'll throw in the kitchen sink too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 8:08am

        Re: Re: More proof that European legislators are idiots...

        I don't. Please, throw in the kitchen sink. Also, link your proof. Seems to me you are just pulling your facts randomly.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Mr. Oizo, 11 Dec 2014 @ 12:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: More proof that European legislators are idiots...

          The kitchen sink it is then: they steal your personal data and give it to the NSA, (assuming that they are not the NSA, which I have some serious doubts about).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        OldMugwump (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 9:42am

        Re: Re: More proof that European legislators are idiots...

        I don't believe what you said.

        Please send my sink to the Spanish legislature.

        If everyone here asks the same, Mr. Ozio will bury the Spanish legislature in kitchen sinks.

        Problem solved??

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    New Mexico Mark, 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:26am

    Some things never change

    I went to Spain when I was young and in the military (over 30 years ago). I walked out of the airport to find a taxi, and being inexperienced, I only saw taxis next to the curb, not a single-file line of taxis, I just walked to the nearest one, which happened to not be the first one. I was getting ready to put my bags in when the first taxi driver came running up yelling at the driver of the one I had chosen. They started yelling back and forth and it eventually devolved into a fist fight. Meanwhile, I had already grabbed my bags and put them in a third cab whose driver was more than glad to help me get to my destination.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous cow, 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:29am

    This is truly terrible, how will the spanish people get their news now?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:35am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 6:59am

    Even if Spain's news publishers demand that Google News be turned back on, there's nothing they can do about it now. Simply because the damage has already been done.

    Why? Because this wasn't just a simple demand for licensing fees, this is now a law that goes into effect in two weeks. What would happen is that Spain's legislature would have to draft a new bill to repeal the draconian copyright law they passed in the first place and with many legislatures preparing to go on holiday break, that's unlikely to happen.

    Google News shuts down on Tuesday. It would take weeks before a new bill is drafted to release the law and even longer to get an approved vote to repeal the law. They can't just automatically repeal the law. They actually need to vote to repeal the law and even then, it's no guarantee that Google would restore the service.

    If Google were smart, they would avoid Spain because Spain and Germany keep trying to come up with new ways to squeeze money out of Google to get them to pay licensing fees. It's only been about one thing, getting free money from Google.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 11 Dec 2014 @ 1:03pm

      Re:

      I'm pretty sure you can change the regular Google into Spanish Google by inserting a paper clip into the small hole in the battery compartment for more than three seconds.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:10am

    I'm waiting for the eventual lawsuits that will be filed against Spain's copyright law when all of those smaller news publications start shutting down. If I didn't know better, I'd think that this was a plot by AEDE to use this law to shut down the smaller news publishers and to gain that traffic instead.

    If those larger news publishers don't think that Google News shutting down won't affect them, they are more deluded than they think. In the end, they'll also see their traffic drop slightly but that the backlash against publishers represented by AEDE may see them biting off more than they thought.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:18am

    When this new law gets killed........

    When this new law gets killed Google should do intensive research before restoring the service. Just to make sure that there will be no recurrence or alternative incidence of this nonsense, only fools rush in, right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan Meadows, 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:21am

    Is there any standard for what pubs are required to charge? Is it possible some Spanish publishers could pull what Amazon did when they were forced to stop free shipping and decided to charge 1 cent. Could they call Google up and say, we'll "charge" you 1/1,000,000 of a cent per link or whatever the Spanish equivalent of a penny is? I suspect with the plethora of bad laws coming out of the EU of late, that we're going to see the EU splinter and fall apart over the next decade or so. Passing horrible laws that restrict commerce and then forcing austerity on people when their economies continue to tank isn't going to be a long-term growth strategy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:23am

    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.

    What next, charging Facebook for snippets posted by its users, and Twitter for links posted by its users?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:24am

    Good for Google

    Good for Google for doing this. If a government makes it so hard for a company to do business in a country, then the company has every right to stop doing business there.

    But the bigger question is whether other search and news sites have to follow the same rule? Was this a "Google only" tax or will Bing follow? And if the tax applies to everyone, what will happen to all the Spanish publications if NO search engine will list them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:25am

    Facebook is a news aggregator too. They may not think so but wait until their facebook spiders aggregator those news snippets and get hit by that new copyright law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:35am

    And I forgot to mention: the publications should check their Google Analytics to see how far their traffic has fallen off due to Google News shutting down. Or rather, they should check Google Anayltics to make sure Google hasn't shut this service off also.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:42am

    Can google sue spain for lost expected revenue as an investor?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      beltorak (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 8:09am

      Re:

      I really would hope that google is above that nonsense, but even if not I don't think they can. As stated, google wasn't even making money from it's spanish news aggregation, so there would be no lost profits.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      I'm not sure, but I'm willing to bet Spanish news outlets will sue Google for "lost revenue".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 7:46am

    Corporate Sovereignty

    I was thinking that Google might fight back when the corporate sovereignty laws get passed, but then I thought about trying to calculate lost future profits and had an issue with trying to multiply by zero.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 8:15am

    Glad to see its not just the US with idiots running (ruining) the country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    streetlight (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 9:01am

    What about using a VPN to get the news?

    Most, if not all, the comments here are about the law and Google. What about Internet subscribers? These folks will be missing an important resource used for getting the news which they might not get any other way. Would subscribers get around the law and access their missing news by accessing a foreign, Spanish language news aggregator by using a VPN? I don't know the answer. Besides, I don't think Spain can tax foreign aggregators of Spanish news.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 10:44am

      Re: What about using a VPN to get the news?

      "Besides, I don't think Spain can tax foreign aggregators of Spanish news."

      You'd be surprised what nonsense happens when you combine 'Want more money' and 'from google'. And even more if you add 'on the internet' somewhere in there like a patent application.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 11 Dec 2014 @ 9:53am

    The law is working as intended.

    Remember: this law was pushed by an association of large news providers. Those are providers pandering to the Spain government, and they are providers with a reasonably large portfolio.

    Google News was most useful when you were looking for something not covered timely by the mainstream. It was making people aware of good small news sites giving a different picture.

    Without working search engines, the Spanish populace will mostly look for its news on sites covered by household news providers.

    The purpose of pushing for these laws was not getting money from Google. It was killing the competition.

    For that reason, the competition is not allowed to grant Google royalty-free access to even the smallest bit of their news and thus gather attention.

    The parties having pushed for this law are the parties for which the dark ages of information were the golden times, and they got them back.

    They got what they greased the politicians for, and they want it. The losers are the small publishers who now slip under the radar of the public, and the public which is kept dumb by the government-coddling large publishers.

    Or in other words: the free market and democracy were kneed in the groin and dialed back a big notch.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 10:07am

      Re: The law is working as intended.

      Those are providers pandering to the Spain government

      Sounds like it's the other way around.

      The purpose of pushing for these laws was not getting money from Google. It was killing the competition.

      Very good insight, thanks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 11:15am

      Re: The law is working as intended.

      good insight. The large publishers will still lose out on traffic but they can probably absorb the losses. I hope people actively boycott all the large publishers in Spain.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Pragmatic, 12 Dec 2014 @ 4:53am

      Re: The law is working as intended.

      The market is working as intended. It has never been free; major players with the most spending power have always been able to pull crap like this.

      Meanwhile, every effort to get their claws out of our backs (we've always been taxed to subsidize them one way or another) gets characterized as socialism or govt. interference and therefore evil.

      True democracy demands government by the people for the people that protects the weak from the strong. That means we sometimes need government interference in business when it's in the public interest. This is a case in point; the interference in this instance was in the alleged interests of the Spanish publishers. We'll soon see whether or not it was in their actual interests. As for the public, corporations are people, my friend. Human beings, not so much.

      Please can we all agree that if we're going to be governed by any system, it's got to be in our best interests as human beings, not to put money in some overfed CEO's offshore bank account? They're not using that extra income to create the jobs we were promised.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 10:08am

    This isn't the "nuclear option"...

    ...it's the John Galt option.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 11:06am

      Re:

      Who is John Galt?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 12 Dec 2014 @ 4:56am

        Re: Re:

        Every Libertarian's wet dream, or something. Other search engines exist; people will use them instead. That they're not as good is not the point, so let's calm down, okay? There's still an internet in Spain.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 12 Dec 2014 @ 5:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Other search engines exist; people will use them instead."

          More like: other news sources exist. People will use them instead of the ones they used to be linked to through Google. They will use Google to search for everything else non-news related.

          "There's still an internet in Spain."

          Along with a bunch of people who haven't worked out how to use it profitably yet.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Harlon Katz, 12 Dec 2014 @ 10:36am

          How?

          How is this a "Libertarian" wet dream. You have government interference causing Google to leave the market? People are not being responsible for themselves, they have the government "being responsible" for them, or at least being responsible for an agent for them, even if it was only the agent and the larger "thems" (publishers) that wanted this deal.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        EJ Mahar, 12 Dec 2014 @ 12:22pm

        Re: Re: Who is John Galt?

        We are

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 11:24am

    "Google Pulls Out"

    Is this anything like coitus interruptus?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 4:47pm

    Germany came crying back to Google. Spain's economy and employment rates are in the shitter - I'm expecting them to follow suit soon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:27pm

      Re:

      Given the level of idiocy that seems to come from that particular government, I imagine they'll try and sue Google, and/or force them to offer their service in the country(and thus pay) before they even consider repealing the law that caused this whole mess.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2014 @ 5:39pm

    The Phone Book Should Pay Me Too!!

    The phone book has ads and my business is listed in there. They are making money off of me, therefore pay me for the privilege of having potential customers find and use my services. Sheesh.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 12 Dec 2014 @ 5:25am

    I noticed something about this law, that wasn't mentioned in the article. The copyright law in Spain basically seeks to demand Google News pay news publishers for linking to their websites. While the copyright law also lists 'news snippets', the text of the law does state that news aggregators pay licensing fees for snippets as well as pay for linking to news publisher websites in Spain not to mention making it illegal to link to news aggregator websites that are now classified as 'pirate' websites if they don't pay up.

    https://metro.co.uk/2014/12/12/sorry-spain-youll-no-longer-be-getting-any-news-from-google-498417 9/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 13 Dec 2014 @ 12:19am

    attaboy google!

    It is certainly about time.

    I think this will go a long way towards showing exactly how stupid such laws and such lawmakers are and hopefully, will warn off other nations who allow morons and idiots to make laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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