"Spain has passed a law requiring news aggregators such as Google News
to pay publishers a fee if they link to their content. Supporters of
the law, nicknamed the ''Google Fee'', say it will prevent copyright
infringements. But opponents argue that it limits freedom of expression.
Spain was where the "right to be forgotten"
began, with the European Commission recently ruling that individuals
can demand Google remove unfavourable links about them from search
results. Now a new copyright law is stirring controversy in the country.
that don't compensate publishers for using their content could be fined
€30,000 to €300,000 ($43,000 to $430,000). Spanish websites risk being
blocked if they do not comply with the law, passed last week, even if
they are hosted in other countries.
In their blog, the local news
aggregation site Meneame said that although it makes money by linking to
news stories published by others, it's not enough to cover the fees
required under the law. The publishers, meanwhile, make much more from
their relationship, the site said. ''Every unique visit derived from
Meneame drives revenue for the linked news site that is almost 20 times
more than the revenue perceived by Meneame,'' it says."