Let me get this straight... Please... So, say I'm a news publisher. What I do for a living is publishing fresh eye-catching news and wait for higher and higher traffic so that I get better and better CPC for the ads that I publish. What I secretly do during the nighttime though is praying for Google and other news aggregators/linkers (mostly for Google frankly speaking) to link to my site so that I get tons of traffic. Straight and clear? Right!
And now say that I am a Spanish news publisher... The story is the same except for one small detail: As of the 1st of January 2015, I will charge Google and any other news linker/aggregator a certain fee for every time they link to my news...
Again, I -the News Publisher- plan to CHARGE Google for linking into MY pages...
No matter how many times I say this, I still cannot get it. Obviously the Spanish government plans to capitalize on internet traffic. And this makes Spain the first country to charge for linking online!
This tax is called "Canon AEDE" (AKA Google tax). Lawyer Carlos Sanchez Almeida said to the Gizmodo Spain that it is [...]
|[...]a law that serves no citizen, but the interest of a few politicians and companies. It is a clear example of the corruption of the system,|
It began back in 2013 when AEDE, the Spanish association of the top media Spanish companies, blamed Google for "stealing their work without payment". Then they began pressuring the government to pass this law, obviously with perfect success.
Immediately after the approval of the Google Tax, Google Spain made this statement:
|We are disappointed with the new law, we believe that services like Google News help editors bring traffic to their web pages. Moving forward, we'll continue working with editors to help them increase their revenues while we study our options in the new regulatory landscape.|
But that's not all! This new law also bares the right to shut down any website (non-profit included) containing links to copyrighted material! If the site owner does not agree to take out those links he will then face fines up to 760.000 dollars! How shameful...
Sanchez Almeida commented:
|It's pure censorship, Chinese style. The same strategy governments used to kill Wikileaks. Instead of figuring out a way to pay authors with new business models, they prosecute, fine, and close. The fact that even websites with no ads in it could be closed down, shows this is just an attempt from the Spanish Government to control what we share online and how we share it.|
Google has not yet decided how to react to this outcome considering how many outlets are in the AEDE association. Let's just hope that this will not be the beginning of a new trend. In the past, media firms tried to do the same thing, most recently in Germany by the newspaper publishers, but they agreed to allow Google links after being completely unlisted from the Google News. I suppose that Google Analytics spoke loud...