Spain passes EU copyright law, paving way for Google News return

The Google app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken on July 13, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / File Photo

MADRID, Nov. 2 (Reuters) – Spain has adopted a European Union copyright directive that allows third-party online news platforms to negotiate directly with content providers, the government said on Tuesday , paving the way for Alphabet’s Google News (GOOGL.O) to return home.

Google News, which links to third-party content, shut down in Spain at the end of 2014 in response to legislation that required it to pay a collective royalty to republish headlines or news clips.

EU law, which must be adopted by all member states, obliges platforms such as Google, Facebook (FB.O) and others to share revenue with publishers, but it also removes collective fees and allows them to enter into individual or group agreements with publishers. .

“It is about joining the rest of the Member States in this regulation so that digital content can compete in a single digital market,” government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez said at a press conference.

Spain’s culture ministry said the new law brought national copyright law in line with a digital environment and would help artists and creators receive fair compensation for their work.

Arsenio Escolar, president of the CLABE publishers association, which brings together a thousand news organizations including major digital brands such as El Espanol and Eldiario.es, said he was satisfied with the new legislation.

“We are satisfied because the media editors have taken over the reins of the management of our rights, hijacked a few years ago by a law that we at CLABE have always considered unfair and harmful,” he said. in an email to the associates.

Reuters reported in February that some publishers represented by the AMI media association, which mainly represents the old guard of mainstream media, were in favor of keeping the old system. Read more

AMI declined to comment on Tuesday, while Alphabet did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Nathan Allen and Emma Pinedo; Editing by Susan Fenton

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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