• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Spain approves hotly disputed 'Google tax'

The Local · 30 Oct 2014, 14:42

Published: 30 Oct 2014 14:42 GMT+01:00

Thanks to the majority held by the ruling Popular Party, Spain’s Congress voted on Thursday to approve a reform to the Intellectual Property Law, a package which included the introduction of charges for the online use of fragments of information, opinion and entertainment grouped together, for example, on search engines.

Under the so-called 'Google tax', money is paid to the publications and news outlets which produced the stories, texts from which are typically used to give context to the links that result from an online search.

According to the Spanish edition of the Huffington Post, the new legislation also allows for tougher penalties, including fines of up to €600,000 ($756,000), against the owners of websites containing links to illegal pirate downloads.

The changes are set to be introduced on January 1st, 2015.    

The representative of Google in Spain reacted immediately to the decision by Congress to pass the government’s reform. "We are disappointed with the new law because we think that services like Google News help publishers to bring traffic to their websites. Looking forward, we will continue to work with Spanish publishers to help them increase their income while we consider our options in light of this new regulation," the company said in a statement.  

Opposition parties criticized the government for not living up to its promise of reaching a cross-bench agreement on the reform, while the PP said that the legislation achieved its main goal: to protect creators of cultural material on the internet.  

The congressional spokesman for the centrist UPyD party, Carlos Martínez Gorriarán, said the reform was "one of worst laws of this legislature" and clearly designed to favour Spain’s biggest media companies.

The news that Spain planned to introduce a 'google tax' comes a day after the European Union's incoming Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger touted that plans to introduce similar charges across Europe within 12 months.

Story continues below…

"If Google takes intellectual property from the EU and makes use of it, the EU can protect this property and demand that Google pay for it," Oettinger told German business newspaper Handelsblatt."

Germany introduced such a scheme in 2013, a move which saw Google remove copyrighted material from media outlets represented by media industry body VG Media. However, the industry group have now backtracked by granting Google a free licence to continue to displaying that content.   

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Rajoy says forming new government ‘a wish’
Spain has been subject to a political deadlock for the past eight months. Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP file picture

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned Saturday ahead of parliament's confidence vote for a second term in office that the formation of a new government remained "more of a wish".

Spanish police smash Chinese immigration ring
The Chinese nationals paid the ring about €8,000 to get a fake work contract. Photo: Cristina Quicler /AFP

Spanish police said Saturday they had smashed a major ring allegedly providing Chinese nationals living illegally in the country with fake contracts as domestic staff so they could get residency permits.

Gallery
10 super Spanish drinks everyone should try
Photo: Ignacio Palomo Duarte/Flickr

While we've all been tempted by the Spanish holiday classic of a chilled glass of sangria, Spain has much more to offer when it comes to tantalizing tipples.

Property
Buy your own Mediterranean island paradise for just €5m

Got a spare €5 million? Then this Mediterranean island paradise could be yours.

Vamos a la playa! These are Spain's top ten beaches
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Europe's best beach. Photo:Photo: Ismail Mia/Flickr

Spain has five beaches in Europe's top ten. The Local gives you a tour.

Spanish economy continues to grow despite lack of govt
Photo: Contando Estrelas/Flickr

Spain's economic growth continued in the second quarter even as the country remains mired in political limbo after two inconclusive general elections.

Shocking video shows torture of young calf during fiesta
Cruelty in the name of fun? Photo: Pacma

Bullfighting fiestas reached a new low with the torture of a young calf.

Ethan Hawkes to be honoured with San Sebastián award
Ethan Hawke in the Magnificent Seven

The Hollywood actor will be given the Donastia lifetime achievement at the 64th San Sebastián Film Festival.

Gallery
The ten most weird (and wonderful) museums in Spain
Photo: Courtesy of the Museum of Funeral Carriages.

Spain is home to some of the finest museums in the world, but it also boasts some of the most bizarre.

Spanish court bars top Eta figure from Basque elections
The Basque separatist leader in San Sebastian. Photo: AFP

Arnaldo Otegi, once jailed for terrorism charges, has been barred from standing in Basque elections.

Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Police launch appeal for Costa Blanca hit and run driver
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
What political deadlock? Spain economy forges ahead
Features
Eight reasons to spend your gap year exploring Spain
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
International
'We won't ban burqinis on our beaches' insists Barcelona
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
British dad drowns saving daughter on red flagged beach
National
11 Spanish words that English must adopt right now
Lifestyle
Justin Bieber just bought an amazing new pad in Lanzarote
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Lifestyle
Recipe: How to make Andalusian Ajo Blanco soup
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Travel
Ten touristy types you'll meet in Spain: Which one are you?
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
Ten top tips to avoid looking like a guiri when in Spain
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
International
Don't miss this spectacular meteor shower over Spain
Travel
Desperate Ryanair passenger chases after missed flight
Travel
What's on in Spain: August 2016
National
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
National
German firestarter blames blaze on 'toilet paper mishap'
National
Flashmob prank sparks 'terror attack' panic in Spanish resort
Culture
Croquemon Go: Spain invents twist on game to 'eat 'em all'
Technology
Six free apps to simplify your summer in Spain
National
Spanish parents fight for right to name their son 'Wolf'
National
Beach closed after shark attack in southern Spain
National
Spain ups security at tourist spots as terrorism fears grow
National
Ten great reasons to discover the real Malaga right now
3,203
jobs available