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Google News will reopen in Spain after the approval of the Royal Decree that transposes the European copyright directive

After closing in 2014, Google News will reopen in Spain at the beginning of next year 2022 after approval yesterday of Royal Decree that transposes the European copyright directive. This directive ends what made Google decide to close its news service in Spain: the AEDE Canon of the LPI (Intellectual Property Law) that was launched by what was then the Minister of Education, Culture and Sports: Jose Ignacio Wert, from the Popular Party (PP).

With it, news aggregators, such as Google News, were forced to pay a fee for each link that led to pages and news of the AEDE (Association of Spanish Newspaper Editors). Google refused to do so and closed its service in Spain, causing notable losses and a good blow to many media. Above all, the little ones.

Google has waited for the publication in the BOE of the Royal Decree to make its return to Spain official, since the modifications introduced in the new decree put an end to the obstacles and obstacles that made Google make the decision to close Google News in December 2014. Thus, you will now be able to negotiate with each media one by one the remuneration that you would have to pay them for publishing extracts of their content in the search engine.

The company is not going to start these negotiations from scratch with many media, since according to El Confidencial, it has already negotiated and closed commercial agreements with more than twelve media in Spain. The only thing missing was the approval of this decree, which ends with article 32.2 of the previous one. With this article, Google had to pay a fee to Cedro for linking and displaying media content. It did not matter if these media gave up charging it, because Google had to pay the fee anyway. It was of an inalienable character. The new law no longer says that this compensation is inalienable, which facilitates negotiation on a case-by-case basis. The media, therefore, will be able to decide whether to negotiate with Google or through Cedro.

From Google Spain they point out that «From the beginning of next year, Google News will offer links to useful and relevant news, from a wide spectrum of sources, which will help the Spanish public to find more information on current news and to delve into the topics. Google News helps the public get more information from a greater number of sources; it can be said that it is an essential tool in the fight against misinformation. On the other hand, Google News helps journalists and editors have more readers and generates a very valuable free traffic for them«.

In addition, the company has stressed that they will continue working so that their program reaches Spain Google News Showcase, a licensed product initiative, offering a new experience, as well as paying publishers to generate curated content that will appear in Google News and Discover news and stories panels.

But not everything is good news, in principle, with the approval of this decree law. Indeed, this law on intellectual property has included part of what was once contained in article 13 of the European Directive on Intellectual Property. Now, in article 17, what was previously included in article 13 appears, rules that generate no little mistrust, since leave it up to algorithms, without human control or supervision, control of content protected by copyright.

As a consequence of this new law, social networks will have to install and implement automatic filters in charge of controlling that what their users publish is not protected by copyright. If these algorithms detect that protected content was being published, they would have to automatically block it. The question is whether these algorithms will also block content created for fun purposes, such as parodies or memes. These contents, according to the law, are exempt, but it will be necessary to see whether or not the algorithms will be able to distinguish the differences between a protected content and a playful one that is exempt from blocking.

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