3 November 2021CopyrightAlex Baldwin

Spain adopts EU new copyright directive

Spain is the latest country to adopt the EU’s new copyright directive, which allows publishers to negotiate rates to rehost their news on search engines and social media websites.

The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was passed in 2019, giving publishers the right to authorise or prohibit third-party online platforms from reproducing their content on a voluntary basis.

The Spanish Culture Ministry announced it had implemented the EU law on Tuesday.

The announcement claims: “The Royal Decree-law does not pronounce on the matter, thus giving the option and freedom to each editor and owner of rights to manage it, either individually, through direct negotiation with the aggregators... or through a collective management entity on a voluntary, non-mandatory basis.”

Countries such as France and Germany have already adopted the directive, which was meant to be implemented into national law across the union by June 2021, but 23 of the 27 member states failed to do so.

Google news

Spain had already passed a similar law in 2014, which required news aggregators such as Google to pay for a license to use any snippet of news content, which led to the shutting down of Google News in the country.

However, the introduction of the EU copyright directive will allow Google to strike individual deals with publishers on a voluntary basis, a move that could see Google News relaunched in Spain.

Following the launch of the EU copyright directive in 2019, reports surfaced that Google’s parent company Alphabet was in talks with Spanish publishers to start hosting their content again.

A spokesperson for Google Spain told Reuters on Tuesday: “Based on the initial information... conditions look promising for the potential launch of Google News in Spain. However, we will need to see the final law before making any formal announcements.”

Paying for content

Alongside the directive, pressure is mounting on governments across the world to implement similar laws to reimburse content creators for rehosting their work.

Earlier this year, Australia passed a law requiring Google and Facebook to negotiate compensation with press publishers.

The US Copyright Office is also seeking submissions on whether ancillary copyright protections are warranted in the US in light of the new EU and Australian copyright laws.

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