Spanish News Publishers Beg Google News To Stay

Editorial / Tech

Well, that was fast.  Only a few days after Google announced they’d be shutting down Google News in Spain – due to a Spanish law aimed at punishing Google – Spanish news publishers have asked the Spanish government to step in and prevent the closure.  Comically, it was these same news publishers who pushed for these laws in the first place.  I won’t be surprised if Google simply says lo siento and hasta luego.

As we mentioned a few days ago, the law in question requires that news outlets charge any other organization (i.e. Google) for using any sort of snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not.  Since Google does not monetize Google News, they’ve decided to instead shut down the service in Spain.  Wanting to have their cake and eat it too, Spanish publishers have cried foul of this decision.

The Register has some quotes from a representative of the lobbying group AEDE (Association of Editors of Spanish Dailies):

“AEDE requires the intervention of Spanish and community authorities, and competition authorities, to effectively protect the rights of citizens and companies,” it said.

A spokeswoman at the lobby group told The Spain Report that the AEDE had not asked “Google to take a step backwards, we’ve always been open to negotiations with Google”.

She reportedly added: “Google has not taken a neutral stance”.

“Of course they are free to close their business, but one thing is the closure of Google News and quite another the positioning in the general index.”

So, let me get this straight…Google News provides a free platform that drives traffic to your websites.  You push for punitive laws aimed squarely at this free platform (that drives traffic to your websites). Those laws pass, and the target of your punitive law decides they they’re going to take away their free, traffic driving platform because of these same punitive laws.  Now you’re going to freak out about it and say that the company you’ve tried to bully into submission hasn’t taken a neutral stance?

Google News is an excellent tool both for publishers, and for readers.  For readers, it provides a one-stop shop to find news and opinions from all over the world.  Yes, Google News provides a small snippet of text from the original source, but here’s the thing for publishers to understand – they don’t show your entire story, and they link back to your site, (unlike some other scraper sites that simply steal others’ content) delivering traffic and viewers directly to you, for free.

If Google were making money off of Google News, then sure, ask for a piece of that pie.  But they aren’t.  Google News is provided as an informational tool that simply aggregates information, and pushes traffic back to the original sources.  Publishers in several other European countries have already learned the hard way that Google News really does drive traffic.  It seems that Spain has figured this out before Google News even left.

  Source: The Register
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