Google is in the final stages of closing down its news service in Spain before the end of December, a move it said was forced upon it by the new legislation coming into force in January. The piece of legislation requires the search giant to remunerate publishers monetarily for use of their work, but Google says that the move will disadvantage it since it does not benefit from the searches.
While communicating the resolution, the head of the engine’s News section Richard Gingras through his blog post said the move would encompass removal of Spanish publishers before the closure, which is expected on December 16. He claimed that the search giant would suffer financially in compensation of the publishers terming it unsustainable.
The argument adopted by the Google service was that the site does not generate any monetary profits from the publication of such news articles. Google said that most of the published work helps direct clients to the parent sites of the published articles – a move it claimed was being used to generate revenues for such sites.
However, a notable gap in the piece of legislation was its lack of specification on the amount such publishers will have to be paid for their work or the formula of arriving at such remunerations. This leaves the world with one big question; if Google News is worth $100 Million, Then Why Can’t Google pay The Newspaper Publishers? It is thus highly possible that even if the online search giant chose to continue with their operations then there could be long protracted legal battles on the scale of the payments, further complicating the already volatile matter at hand.
The publishers of such articles have nevertheless hailed the move to have the search giant pay for running their articles. Most of them claimed that the news they provide heavily eats into their resource base, which they would like to be compensated for.
But past trends for countries that chose to have Google pay for running articles of publishers suggest that this may be a move in the wrong direction. With German as some of the countries that had such legislation put in place, most of the news publishers have resorted to have the engine publish their articles summarily and without charge, a move, which was occasioned by a sharp decrease for traffic to their sites.
With this trend unraveling and more possibly to follow, the ability of Google to survive the onslaught will be highly dependent on the strategies its owners and managers adopt in the long run, whether they will blink and get bogged down or be in for the long haul.