Google to shut down Google News service in Spain

Online search giant Google will shut down its Google News in Spain before the introduction of a new intellectual property-right law, BBC reported.

The internet search company will pull the plug on the service on 16 December before the law took effect in January, according to the company.

Under the law, Spanish publications will be able to charge service providers like Google News if their content was shown on the site.

Arguing against the ruling, Google said it made no money from its search-based service.

"It's with real sadness that on 16 December we'll remove Spanish publishers from Google News, and close Google News in Spain," said Richard Gingras, head of Google News in a blog post yesterday.

He added, that the law under which Spanish publishers would be able to charge Google "for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications" was not sustainable.

"Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site)," he said.

He further pointed out that publishers could  choose whether or not they wanted their articles to appear in Google News.

"The vast majority choose to be included for very good reason. Google News creates real value for these publications by driving people to their websites, which in turn helps generate advertising revenues," he said.

The new Spanish law was aimed at protecting copyright holders in a digital environment, by making it an inalienable right for publishers to receive compensation from aggregators for the use of fragments of content in news and other contexts, PC World reported.

The internet had created ''tremendous opportunities but also real challenges for publishers as competition both for readers' attention and for advertising Euros increased,'' according to Gingras.

In Germany, publishers who sought compensation for republication of their content backed off following Google's decision to stop showing news snippets and thumbnails from a number of well-known German news sites in search results.

According to the publishers, in view of Google's market power they would allow the company to show news snippets in search results free of charge.

According to Google, it benefited publishers as Googles news service directed traffic to publishers' websites through Google News. The development in Spain is being seen as a retaliation against the new legislation, which was supported by publishers group Spanish Association of Daily Newspaper Publishers (AEDE).

According to Gingras, publishers could ''choose whether or not they want their articles to appear in Google News - and the vast majority choose to be included for very good reason,'' Gingras wrote.