Google closes Google News in Spain. Why it's a big deal beyond Spain.

As of Dec. 16, Google said it will block reports from more than 70 Spanish publishers to all Google News international editions.

Google's decision to close Google News in Spain because of a law requiring aggregators to pay news publishers for linking content will reverberate all-around the world, the company said Thursday.

Google said it will block reports from Spanish publishers from its Google News international editions, which number more than 70, in addition to the Spain shutdown on Dec. 16 — several weeks before a new Spanish intellectual property law takes effect on Jan 1.

That means people in Latin America where Spanish news organizations have sought to boost audiences won't see their news via Google News in Mexico and elsewhere. Also set to disappear are reports in English from Spanish publishers like the leading El Pais newspaper.

Spain's AEDE association, which represents large news publishers, lobbied for the law nicknamed the "GoogleTax" and declined comment on Google Inc.'s decision, which is the first shutdown since Google News was launched in 2006.

The law did not specify how much publishers would have to be paid by Google, but the company said Spain's law is much stricter than similar legislation enacted elsewhere because it mandates payments "for showing even the smallest snippets of their content — whether they want to charge or not." Google News doesn't generate revenue or show ads.

Google News has long-irked newspaper publishers and other content providers who contend the service tramples on copyrights by creating a digital kiosk of headlines and story snippets gathered from other websites.

Most venting has been limited to criticism likening Google to a freeloader, but there have been attempts to force the company to change its ways through the courts.

Google maintains it obeys all copyright laws while sending more people to websites highlighted in its Newsservices. The company also allows publishers to prevent material from being displayed in Google News, an option few websites choose because the service is an important traffic source to sell ads.

Alejandro Tourino, a Madrid-based lawyer who specializes in media issues and has worked for The Associated Press on several legal cases, said Spanish news publishers may "have shot themselves out of the market. Time will tell."

After Germany revised copyright laws last year in a way that allowed, but did not force Google News to make royalty payments, Google required publishers to give consent for summarizing content and most did.

Google last year agreed to help French news organizations increase online advertising revenue and fund digital publishing innovations to settle a dispute over whether it should pay for news content in its search results.

Google also had to respond to a ruling this year from Europe's highest court that people have a right to scrub unflattering or outdated information from Google's search engine. That case started in Spain.


Associated Press writer Michael Liedtke in San Francisco contributed to this report.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Google closes Google News in Spain. Why it's a big deal beyond Spain.
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today