Google News, a news aggregation service that left Spain in 2014, will be returning early 2022. This is due to the Spanish transposition of the new (and controversial) EU Copyright Directive, which was made effective by means of a Royal Decree published the last week.
Google News operates a search in which the results link exclusively to news, reproducing the headline and a small extract from them (called "snippets"). The media, which have suffered great loss in advertising revenue in favour of Google, showed their dissatisfaction with the search engine benefiting from its content for free. Back then, Google argued that the service was actually positive for news sites as it increased their traffic.
The Spanish government in 2014 decided to settle the controversy by passing legislation to require Google to pay a mandatory fee for the use of the news. This was at first perceived as a great triumph for the local media, but ended up becoming a total failure when Google decided to stop offering the service in the country.
The new legal framework, that will exist in all the European Union, also provides for tech giants to pay a royalty for their use of local media news, but this will be voluntary and negotiated. Google has appeared to welcome this new development and is expected to enter into licensing agreements with the news organisations to reopen early 2022.
The official statement from Google can be consulted here.
Esquivel & Martin Santos
EU & Spain Intellectual Property Firm