Search giant pulls Google News following dispute over ‘tax’ on story links
Google has shut down its News service in Spain following the introduction of new regulations concerning charging for content in the country.
The company took exception to the news that under new laws, nicknamed the ‘Google tax‘ due to come into place on January 1, it would now have to pay to show any excerpts from Spanish publications on the service, and instead will close Google News in Spain on December 16.
In a blog post explaining the decision, Richard Gingras, head of Google News, explained that as the service makes “no money” due to not showing any advertising, the new approach was “simply not sustainable”.
Gingras, who said the announcement was one of “real sadness”, also noted that publishers can choose whether or not they want their articles to appear in Google News, which is available in more than 70 international editions, covering 35 languages.
“The vast majority choose to be included for very good reason. Google News creates real value for these publications by driving people to their websites, which in turn helps generate advertising revenues,” he said.
The laws could also come into force in other European countries, as Germany and France (among others) have also been pushing for new national copyrighting laws as they look to clamp down on Google’s supposed dominance of the Internet.
The company has already had to scale down its German service following pressure from local publications in October. Going forward, News for Germany can only display headlines and thumbnails.
In May, a European court ruling forced Google to enforce a “right to be forgotten” policy, meaning users could request the deletion of search engine results if the information was inadequate or no longer relevant.
Thousands of requests have already been submitted, as users look to remove results showing information including criminal records, embarrassing photos, instances of online bullying and negative press stories.
How well do you know Google’s secrets? Find out with our quiz!