Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
“Modern” homepage design increases pageviews and reader comprehension, study finds
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
July 29, 2014, 6:19 p.m.
Aggregation & Discovery
LINK: medium.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   July 29, 2014

Spain is far from the first European country whose newspapers have battled what they perceive as Google’s theft of their content. But a bill currently under consideration there could have impacts beyond the search giant.

According to the proposed law — passed in the lower chamber and pending in the Spanish Senate — Google and other platforms would have to pay a tax for each time it uses “non-significant fragments” of a news story. Julio Alonso is the founder of Weblogs SL, a digital media company in Spain that could stand to lose a lot via this tax. On Medium, he writes:

It is aimed generally at “electronic news aggregation systems”, and, therefore it includes basically anyone who links with anything more than an anchor text. Center on its target is Spanish aggregation site Menéame. A Spanish free software based version of Digg/Reddit launched in 2005, Menéame is a very popular destination for news discovery in Spanish. Obviously any other service that does aggregation of any type or form is also potentially affected. This includes Flipboard, Zite, Pocket, even Facebook or Twitter.

Another blogger in Spain, Marilín Gonzalo, writes that Menéame has threatened to leave the country. Writes Alonso:

It is rumored that if the law is finally passed, Google is ready to shut down the Spanish version of Google News. It clearly does not want to create a precedent of a country in which it is basically paying to link.

Of course, news organizations rely on these websites, especially Google News, to drive traffic to their stories, so Google abandoning the country could have major consequences for Spanish news publishers.

How the law will actually be enforced remains to be seen. Over at Quartz, in a piece called “Nobody seems quite sure how Spain’s new ‘Google tax’ will work,” Kabir Chibber says the Spanish government has insisted that Facebook and Twitter won’t have to pay the tax, but the rest is still up in the air.

The fact that Spain’s law protects only its daily newspapers and not other publishers may make it harder to defend, but now that it has passed, we’ll have to wait for the first test cases. How they’ll be enforced is still unclear, but it’s worth remembering that Spain gave us the case that led to another controversial ruling that went against Google: the “right to be forgotten.”

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
“Modern” homepage design increases pageviews and reader comprehension, study finds
A new report from the Engaging News Project shows that users prefer modular, image-heavy homepage designs.
Newsonomics: The halving of America’s daily newsrooms
If you’re lucky enough to have the right deep-pocketed owner buy your paper and steady it, you’ve won the lottery. If you’re in a town whose paper is owned by the better chains, or committed local ownership, your loss will probably be mitigated. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.
Gimlet wants to become the “HBO of podcasting” — here’s what its founder’s learned trying to get there
Alex Blumberg, CEO and co-founder of Gimlet Media: “People who like public radio like podcasts, but people outside of public radio also like podcasts. So let’s find those people.”
What to read next
1119
tweets
New Pew data: More Americans are getting news on Facebook and Twitter
A new study from the Pew Research Center and Knight Foundation finds that more Americans of all ages, races, genders, education levels, and incomes are using Twitter and Facebook to consume news.
565Newsonomics: The halving of America’s daily newsrooms
If you’re lucky enough to have the right deep-pocketed owner buy your paper and steady it, you’ve won the lottery. If you’re in a town whose paper is owned by the better chains, or committed local ownership, your loss will probably be mitigated. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.
542Putting the public into public media membership
Getting beyond tote bags and pledge drives is critical to the sustainability of public media. Is there an alternative vision of membership that relies on relationships more than money?
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Los Angeles Times
ReadWrite
Spot.Us
The Huffington Post
Quartz
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
NBCNews.com
Hechinger Report
San Diego News Network
Daily Kos
Outside.in
San Francisco Chronicle