Spain has successfully passed a new legislation that would impose fees for Internet content aggregators like Google News. The local government explained the law is meant to protect the domestic print media industry.
The new intellectual property law, dubbed “Google Tax” and also known as LPI, requires online services that post links and excerpts of news articles to pay to Spanish newspapers, or to face a fine of up to €600,000.
Apparently, the war between European newspapers and Google escalates to the new level. On the one side, Spanish publishers accused Google of using their copyrighted material to build up a news service being too lazy to do any reporting itself. On the other side, Google defended itself by claiming that it brings 10 billion views to newspapers’ online resources per month.
Now Google claimed it is “disappointed” with the new legislation in Spain. It should be noted that a similar law passed in Germany, after which Google removed the affected newspapers from its news. However, later the German publishers came back and asked Google to relist them, because they saw their traffic plummet.
The new legislation is not only about the “Google tax”. When it is enforced in the early 2015, Spain will also require online portals to remove links to copyright infringing content, even if the sites themselves don’t profit from it. In addition, the rights owners won’t have to go through a judge to demand links be removed. Finally, the websites which don’t act will face fines of €600,000.
The new legislation also applies to the 3rd-party websites that provide hosting or payment services to the infringing website – this is why opponents of the legislation labeled it “censorship”.
Source: The Guardian