GOOGLE NEWS is returning to Spain after a seven-year break, the service was discontinued in 2014 ahead of a change to the country’s copyright law.

Google News Service will once again be available in Spain in early 2022 after the government of Pedro Sanchez introduced a Royal Decree that changes its online copyright laws. This means the internet giant will be able to negotiate licensing fees with individual publishers. The change brings Spain in line with a European Union framework.

Google shut down its News service in the country in December 2014, just before a law came into force that would have forced the company to pay publishers for using any of their content, including headlines appearing in the News tab. At that time, online publishers like Google and Microsoft were not able to opt-out of paying- it was mandatory. However, they now have a choice, and Google can determine whether or not to pay them after Spain implemented the European Copyright Directive.

After the shutdown in 2014, a group representing newspapers across Spain urged the government to act to try and get Google to restore the service. The Spanish Newspaper Publishers’ Association said that losing the news service would “undoubtedly have a negative impact” on both the public and the publishers.

A tweet from Google Europe in March 2019, read: ‘The details matter, and we look forward to working with policymakers, publishers, creators and rights holders as EU member states move to implement these new rules. #Article11 #Article13 (2/2).’

Google, being a multinational technology company, says the return of News will assist readers in Spain to find coverage on stories from a broad range of publications- and help fight misinformation. The company claims the move will be highly beneficial to publishers and journalists by making their work more visible and helping to drive traffic to their websites.

In addition, the company is planning the return of Google News Showcase to Spain (GNS). GNS is a product and program designed to collate and collect high-quality news from publishers in Google News and Discover and pays them for it. Google has also paid some publishers to offer some of their paywalled stories in Showcase- at no cost whatsoever to readers.

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