One wonders exactly how the Spanish government could possibly go about forcing Google to stay and be taxed. One really does.
I've got out a bowl of popcorn. This should be quite entertaining.
Anti-Google lobby group the AEDE, which represents publishers in Spain, has asked the country's government to prevent the ad giant from shuttering its news-scraping service. The volte-face comes after Mountain View threatened on Thursday to kill Google News in Spain, because it argued that a clumsy, new intellectual property …
Axel Springer tried the same in Germany earlier this year. They got a bill passed and Google would have to pay to show news scrapes of German press - many who didn't want the law signed a waiver straight away.
Google stopped scraping the Axel Springer and other sites that were involved in the lobby.
Then Axel Springer and Co. noticed that their traffic plummeted by something like 2/3 and went crawling back to Google, asking them to add them back to their news scraping service and they would waive the fees.
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"Then Axel Springer and Co. noticed that their traffic plummeted by something like 2/3 and went crawling back to Google, asking them to add them back to their news scraping service and they would waive the fees."
Prediction for next year in the War on Google- the accusation that Google News has become an essential facility and that an unreasonable refusal to grant access (not limited to refusing to grant access to those who do not sign a waiver) is an abuse of dominance.
(FWIW, I'm very cynical about this argument succeeding, I'm just saying that it will be raised).
all google will do is pull the google news site down and then de rank all news sites and probably ignore any paid google ads they have paid for
and if they did not want google to use there PUBLIC web pages they should've used the robots.txt file if they did not want to be listed on google search
Understand how the World Wide Web, or (in a high-user-level) understand how the Internet works?
Do they realize that we're supposed to link to one another, that it is a good thing (Driving traffic to your site)
In the Spanish case, I can understand the Spaniards (Expert on the subject here after all ;-) They see Google; large corporation making money "Big USA style" and hey get handed some in the form of adwords.
Like good old government-privileged prehistoric lobbies from another times (GOPPLFATS) they can smell the billions Google makes and like the good greedy (mentally) peasants they are they reason:
"Hey, Google is makin billions and billions, and they do so cos our content, cos Google makes no goddamn content, we do, we need to ask the government to pull money from Google, cos they're stealing our content"
And Le Google like a good'old USA corp full of billions and with no patience for irrelevant peasantries from the GOPPLFATS, do what a Google would do: "We do not negotiate with stinking terrorist", we're pulling the lights and taking the party elsewhere.
I wish something like this could happen more often on other areas of Spanish political life, a direct big slap in the face with a yelled: "Wake up you idiot".
And do not worry, the Spaniard politicians will go back to their usual stupid shenanigans in no time.
This is the Americans fault, due to the American nuclear bombs that fell into Palomares in the 70. The country its been trapped on a vortex ever since (Radiation has hits things) and it is trapped permanently at the end of the 60's, time passes, but people's minds don't realize its not 1966.
Merry Christmas to everybody!
Dear Spanish Government:
Nice shitstorm! Can I take a video? And you still have plenty of time between now and January to screw up things even more! I have lots of confidence in your ability to turn the most menial tasks into fuckfests, and I know we will be enjoying.
Yours truly: A. Spaniard
Dear members of AEDE:
PLS FOAD AND BURN ASAP, TY!. OTHRWSE WLL DOIT FOR YOU!!!
Yours truly: Th. E. Blackhand
"Publishers can't opt out, because opting out would mean that a Spanish QANGO called CEDRO wouldn't make any money."
Wow. The Spanish lobbyists, politicians and civil servants have cooked up a corker here. With intellects like this running the place you can understand why the country's near bankrupt and has recently celebrated an unemployment rate of one in four (because that's a three year low).
"celebrated an unemployment rate of one in four"
Well I have a theory about that. It's not strictly true. As much as the man in the street complain about the corrupt politicians, they are the same. There is little regard for the law (just look at the driving/parking). Almost everyone would pay in cash to avoid IVA (VAT). Paying in cash also helps because of the rampant black economy of people being self-employed/running companies but not declaring it; and not passing the cash through bank accounts makes it easier to not declare it. I'll admit that it takes a special type of person (politician) to forget that you have 40M€ stuffed in Switzerland/Andorra.
On the other hand it's almost impossible to become self-employed. Imagine having to pay 280€ a month every month despite having no income. Plus you have to be VAT registered from 0€, so you can have an extra outgoing to pay a gestor to manage all the complexities for you. You alao pay the VAT on all your invoices the instant that you think about charging someone; even if you are still waiting to be paid 2 years later (and by Madrid city council just to add insult to injury).
The combination of not wanting to declare employmrnt to avoid taxes, and not being able to afford to do it properly, means that the step can be missed out.
" even if you are still waiting to be paid 2 years later (and by Madrid city council just to add insult to injury)."
Small claims court, bailiff with instructions to target and seize of the most critical piece of IT equipment in the building? (It works wonders against banks when the bailiff pulls out a branch data links...)
The real way to make AEDE hurt thoroughly is to encourage a consumer boycott of spanish print media and those who advertise with them.
What hurts the newspapers even more than losing views is having the people who pay them (no, not the people who buy newspapers) take their money and put it in more effective marketplaces.
(Disclosure: In a previous life and business I used media advertising. Several weeks of newspaper ads cost a hell of a lot more than 2 radio adverts - and the radio adverts picked up several hundred times more business. TV ads picked up even more, but the cost:benefit ratio didn't favour it.)
Spam, paid for in advance, makes currency (with serial numbers on the bills) for the spammer. It does not increase the pool of profit, which is anonymous value forms - coins, without serial numbers.
Eventually you will be able to melt down your grandmother and use the silver in her hair to buy advertising, to users who dream of having a grandmother like the one you just melted.
It's like commercial television; programs are a necessary cost centre, without them nobody watches the ads.
Does anyone actually watch ads on TV? I generally do one or more of the following when they come on:
Mute the TV.
Head to my PC and check email/messages/etc.
Go make a snack.
Go get a drink.
And to keep this about Google:
Has anyone *not* skipped the ads when watching a video on YouTube? Apart from being incredibly annoying, they are the lamest implementation of adverts ever - I just love the way they start playing adverts mid-sentence, halfway through a scene.
"Has anyone *not* skipped the ads when watching a video on YouTube?"
Well, there are the unskippable ones. Now if there's one way to burn your brand image into my memory as something to avoid, it's making me sit through a full advert whether I'm interested or not. If your product is that brilliant, 5 seconds is more than enough to sell it to me or at least tell me where I can find out more.
Of course it'd be great if a few of the more prominent youtubers decided "text ads only until the unskippable ones fuck off", but the chances of that happening are about the same as the likelihood of Satan ice-skating to work.
I always pre-record TV, or on LiveTV, pause it by about 15 mins.
That way I can skip the ads when they come on.
One thing that I prefer about broadcast TV, you can skip the ads.
Too many streamed services have unskippable ones.
I rarely see any ads, and I expect much of my shopping is unadvertised, but I can't be sure, except when I am shopping from my local grocer or butcher.
I would have thought they would be happy. Large media companies probably win from Google News disappearing. As long as Google News is there, they are forced to compete on it with small websites, losing more and more control because there is a real risk that not letting Google act as it wants would lose them traffic.
But if Google News disappears, users are forced to rely on the names of big newspapers they can remember. The traffic from Google News they would lose might well be replaced by more traffic of people going straight to their websites. After all, I understand Google News only represents something like 10-20% of their traffic in the first place, unlike small websites for which it should be more like 75%.
I mean, it's not like users are going to stop surfing the web for news when Google News disappears. They are just going to surf in a different way, and some web sites are going to end up winning. It seems a fair assumption to me that those will be the bigger ones. If I was this AEDE thingy, I would wait and see for the results.
Well okay, but people would still be looking for news. (Even without Google showing them the way!)
I assume the users would just Google for the name of one of the big newspapers, find their website, and get their news from there. If you're a big newspaper, this is a good thing — possibly much better than whatever traffic they received from Google News or Google results.
For very local news only carried by the Spanish publishers, and not mirrored/reproduced/blogged about elsewhere, you may well be right. But the German experience suggests that in practice traffic does drop dramatically if publishers shut the major search engine(s) out. If the Spanish carry on playing this game then I guess we'll find out!
"I assume the users would just Google for the name of one of the big newspapers, find their website, and get their news from there."
Not if it ends up that the most cost-effective way for Google to ensure no mistakes is simply to block all access of elpais.es (and just to be safe 184.108.40.206/24 ?)
And of course all of those who argued that if a big business leaves a replacement will just pop up will stand by their argument (as said here)-
Crazy people with crazy laws thinking they have no effect but for the greater good and unicorns.
Hmm, don't think I posted in that thread.
But you are putting up a strawman. If Google were to allow its search in general to become corrupted, they wouldn't hold their top position. But this is much more limited: an action concerning specific contents in one country, and provoked by specific legislation. Is the market for spanish news big enough for a rival to step in? They won't make enough to rival Google's R&D efforts, even without paying royalties on those links.
All search engines with Spanish web results must also have a Spanish news scraper 'in the public interest' or be fined €600,000.
"We have always been open to negotiations with Google," said a spokesmouth. "As the law stands, news scrapers must pay us fair compensation as defined by us or get fined. This new amendment, which is something completely different, ensures that all those who profit off indexing content on the Spanish web must also present Spanish news content in an accessible form in the public interest or get fined. It's only fair."
Job done, brown envelope handed over (into the coat pocket).
They've asked for it, so let them have it: remove all *.es links from Google.
Not just the newspapers; after all, citing a line from any spanish website is piracy according to this idiotic law, so grant the entire country's Right To Be Forgotten(tm).
"We own web searching world-wide. Play by our rules."
Kind of. It is more like "We are here by choice in a friendly provider/customer relationship. If that is not to your standards then we can stop providing."
Google own their index, the Spanish gov own Spain. It would be wrong for one to think they possess the other.
"Google own their index, the Spanish gov own Spain. It would be wrong for one to think they possess the other."
I can imagine the spanish govt trying to pass laws to force google to keep indexing, with the result that Google simply withdraws its entire operation from Spain.
It wouldn't be so much "brown envelope" time for the politicians so much as "brown trousers" and possibly a smattering of blood on the cobbles.
I was under the impression that there are other search engines. (Bing. Yahoo... but I repeat myself. Duck-duck-go. Alta Vista. Assorted others.)
I was also under the impression that the Spaniards are upset about Google News providing free advertising for Spanish news sites and want Google to pay to provide the free advertising for Spanish sites. Presumably this should also apply to Yahoo or some other site providing free advertising to Spanish sites, same as Google, and if so we're likely to see Yahoo and the others bail, too.
Personally, I rarely use Google News, or Yahoo news, or any such site. And the few times I do use those sites, I don't care if I can't find anything from Spain on them. If Google and Yahoo and company dropped every Spanish link tomorrow I would neither know nor care. I rather suspect that the Spanish news sites would, but that's their problem. They should have thought before they pulled their little extortion scheme.
The Spanish sites, and the Spanish government, could always just create their own search engine and see if they can get the public to use it...
So, is your proposal that a company should be FORCED to stay in business (or offer a product) in a country where the regulatory environment makes it unfeasible, or is specifically structured to make it impossible to function? The last time I checked, there is no contract between Spain, or the Spanish people and Google compelling Google to offer Google News to them.
They (or their leaders/lobbyists/vested interests) pass a law that makes it difficult or impossible for Google News to operate, and you get upset when the shutter it? It looks like the law did exactly what it was designed to do.
If you don't want for something to happen, don't ask for it.
"However now that news.google.es has shut Spanish newspaper sites are buying AdWords space on google.es with keywords like 'noticias' (news) and 'ultima hora' (breaking)."
The same thing happened in New Zealand in the early 1980s when the music companies wanted royalties for tv stations airing music videos - the tv stations simply stopped airing music videos.
Sales dropped drastically, despite increases in product adverts (consumers were generally pissed off with what was generally seen as stupid moneygrabbing tactics resulting in a general "cultural wasteland" and stayed away from record outlets in droves)
The record companies finally cried "uncle" after about 3 months - the abjectness of their surrender was underscored by the fact that Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video debut was aired in an advertising slot in the 6pm news, at full commercial rates (I did say it was the early 80s) a few weeks before they finally pulled their demands.
I give it about 6 weeks at most before spanish news media ask for the law to be repealed.
If you believe the Man From Google as quoted in the article, Google don't show ads in Google News so, no, that's not what's happening.
And Google News *does* only show snippets, not the full article. It shows a snippet then directs you to the original article on the publishers website to get the rest of the article, driving traffic to that site, which is *exactly* why they're now trying to stop Google from taking its ball and going home.
Of course, you've read the article so you know that.
Saw a funny BBC editorial that said Google might quit Europe and suggesting this would be dire. Really ? All that ad words Internet sales tax dosh from small and large business's, I don't think so I am sure others would fill the hole pretty quick. I think the point of the news sharing is its another Google market distortion paid for by the ad words monopoly.
Not to mention that, with the Internet being open and in a global economy, Europeans can keep using Google, but they won't be seeing adverts for European companies anymore. Cue in companies from everywhere else in the world that sell overseas, as well as European companies that are willing to do their contracts outside Europe, drastically increasing their mindshare in Europe. And, if Google isn't operating from Europe itself, then the EU can do absolutely nothing about it.
The UK fought wars to maintain free trade. Some of them were against Napoleon's Continental System. In those wars, which were "enlightened self interest", the UK played the role that Google is playing now.
How did the wars against Napoleon pan out again? Perhaps Google needs to recommission one of those barges and moor it off Cape Trafalgar.
I think I know what would fill that hole. The EU government sponsored a home-grown search engine platform a number of years ago that would, we were promised, challenge Google's dominance in search. That's what's going to replace Google, if Google leaves. Now if only I can remember that incredible projects name, I'm sure it will show up if I search for "most used search engines...."
Do we need competition for Google, yes. Would it seriously impact if Google products were withdrawn from the EU, yes.
It may be good for Spaniards (and even better for Basques and Catalans) to get their news about Spain from outside Spain, further from the influence of the Spanish government.
And with governmental behaviour like this, it's no wonder that parts of the country currently constituted as Spain want to get out of it.
It would be a delicious irony if this law is repealed first in the autonomous regions who would like to leave, and the rest of Spain has to get their Spanish online news searches from them.
"I'll get my coat" icon because I hope that the Basques, Catalans, and any other current Spaniards who would like to, can get theirs too.
The law appears to refer to the display of content from Spanish web sites so all Google - or anyone else - has to do is spider the site according to the robots.txt rules and then when someone searches for a phrase that generates a "hit" - you serve up a link directly to the page in a new window.
Of course - this approach could be abused to serve up just about anything since the user will have no chance to preview the page - but that's not my problem.
"Old spanish men, like old Australian men, have no clue how the internet works."
Not quite correct "Spanish men and women, like old Australian men, have no clue how the internet works."
There that's closer to actuality,
if you care to look at almost any Spanish web site you will find a level of web design that can only be described as rubbish. There are a few sites that are well designed, usable and look good but literally only a few.
Amazingly, navigation is almost always appalling, Columbus only found America because he went down towards the Canaries first, once there the wind only blows towards America, providing you stick at it beyond the sight of land the Land of the Free is pretty hard to miss.
Spanish websites don't get navigation even if they have all the content finding what you want from most companies is a nightmare.
As mentioned a couple of times above what this is really about is greed in wanting a slice of Google's pie regardless of whether there is any entitlement and the fact that a brown envelope will get most politicians to pass a protectionist law for anyone who can put something interesting enough into said envelope.
For what it's worth I have lived here getting on for 12 years, if I buy online I usually get it from UK, US,China, Australia but rarely from Spain simply because it's hard to find here online.