Most news sites will agree that Google’s search engine is so all-powerful, that this as well as Google News happen to be two of the best sources of website traffic. We all know that Google does not charge a single cent to websites for the free advertising, although the idea of Google paying for the privilege of providing free advertising has cropped up from time to time, albeit without success in countries such as Belgium, Germany, and France, among others. It seems that the Spanish government might have taken a wrong step this time around, paving the way for what is deemed by many to be “Google Tax”.
In February this year, the Spanish cabinet did approve a draft law which would revise Spanish copyright law, where in one of the few provisions within the draft would require Google as well as other aggregators to fork out money to link to news sites as well as to post snippets. While previous attempts in the same vein have failed as mentioned earlier, this does not seem as though it will achieve much success, either.
In fact, a new copyright law that went into effect in Germany during 2013 saw Google and a host of other aggregators pay for the privilege of sharing a link and a snippet. Google decided to launch a preemptive action, changing the Google News ToS to opt-in before they delisted any site which would not agree to allow Google to have the links for free.
It looks as though the Spanish government wants to take the same path that Germany and Belgium did, and it does not sound good for Spanish news sites, that’s for sure, as we do not know how exactly will Google respond in such a situation. Hopefully it will all work out for the best.