Google announced on Wednesday (via Search Marketing Land) that it will soon shut down Google News in Spain because of a recently passed copyright law in the country that will prove too costly for the service to continue running. The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2015, would require Google to pay licensing revenues to Spanish publishers if their content, including headlines, is included in Google News.
Given that Google News is not a monetized platform, as no advertising is displayed throughout the service, Google ultimately feels that it would be unreasonable to pay Spanish publishers for providing even snippets of their articles. As a result, Google will be removing all Spanish publishers from Google News and shuttering the service in Spain on December 16.
“But sadly, as a result of a new Spanish law, we’ll shortly have to close Google News in Spain,” writes Richard Gingras, Head of Google News. “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.”
Unfortunately, it appears that Spanish publishers do not have the option to waive their rights, even if they disagree with the copyright law. Nevertheless, Google ensures that it is committed to helping the news industry meet the challenges of online publishing and will continue to work with thousands of partners globally, as well as in Spain, to help them increase their online readership and revenues.