Spain Passes The Google Tax
Spain passed a law that will give Spanish newspaper publishers the right to get paid from any site that links to them with what they deem a ” meaningful ” description of the content. It is important to note that this law does not apply to all publishers in Spain, only daily newspapers.
On July 22 Spain passed a law (link in Spanish) called the canon AEDE, after the acronym for Spain’s daily newspapers’ association. The law has been dubbed the tasa Google (“Google tax”) in the Spanish press and gives these publishers the right to seek payment from any site that links to their content with a “meaningful” description of the work.
Though the government hastened to clarify (Spanish) that the law won’t apply to social networks like Twitter and Facebook, what it means for search engines such as Google and sites like Digg or Reddit—or even Quartz—is still quite unclear. What’s a “meaningful” description? How much compensation is due per link? Who arbitrates in the event of a dispute? And in a world where every news outlet writes the same story, what is exclusive content? The fine for violation of the law is as much as €300,000 (Spanish) and one study says it would cost internet firms €1.13 billion euros (Spanish).
As Quartz points out, this is not the first country to implement this,
But Spain is not the first European country to try to force Google to pay them instead. Germany passed a similar law last year, which will soon be put to the test: Several of Germany’s major publishers last month demanded Google pay them 11% of its revenue from linking to their content. (What they’ll demand from ad-free Google News isn’t clear.) Google has also resolved copyright disputes over linking with both French and francophone Belgian news publishers by funneling more money their way.
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