Google News Spain to close over links tax

The new Spanish Intelectual Property legislation that requires content aggregators to pay for using publishers content from January has driven Google to close down its News service by December 16th.

The search provider will remove Spanish media outlets from the service following a row with the country’s government over new legislation aimed at protecting local publishers that requires the search company to pay for using their content.

The Spanish government passed a new copyright law in October that imposes fees for online content aggregators such as Google News in an effort to protect the country’s print media industry. The law comes into effect in January.

Known popularly as the “Google Tax”, the law requires services that post links and excerpts of news articles to pay a fee to the Association of Editors of Spanish Dailies. It will also affect other news aggregators including Yahoo News. Authorities will have the power to fine websites up to €600,000 for linking to pirated content.

Google news is currently available in 70 international editions, covering 35 languages.The Spanish law is one of a series of spats Google is now facing in Europe, in countries like Germany, France, among others.

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