Spanish news publishers beg Google to put news back online

Google News closed in Spain today because of a new law that would force it to pay publishers for linking to their site, and so Spanish newspapers (who mainly lobbied for the new law) have lost millions of page views a month.

Which is why the AEDE (the association of newspaper editors that lobbied for the law in the first place) is now lobbying the government to, ah, force Google to reopen the service.

Google points out that the law “requires” a copyright fee per link to be paid. The AEDE mumble that Google never tried to negotiate. Why should it? The company is just obeying the law.

Now, the AEDE has asked the Spanish government to try to prevent Google’s exit.7

“AEDE requires the intervention of Spanish and community authorities, and competition authorities, to effectively protect the rights of citizens and companies,” it said.

A spokeswoman at the lobby group told The Spain Report that the AEDE had not asked “Google to take a step backwards, we’ve always been open to negotiations with Google”.

She reportedly added: “Google has not taken a neutral stance”.

“Of course they are free to close their business, but one thing is the closure of Google News and quite another the positioning in the general index.”

It’s also a blow to the UK freebie expat press who now probably have virtually no incoming traffic other than that generated by brand loyalty. So The Olive Press should be OK… not sure about the others 🙂

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