The Spanish Inquisition, a dark period of human history, has a very mild 2014 successor, in terms of torment and torture, when Spain drove out Google News using, you guessed it, copyright, to make it happen.
But sadly, as a result of a new Spanish law, we’ll shortly have to close Google News in Spain. Let me explain why. This new legislation requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not. As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable. So it’s with real sadness that on 16 December (before the new law comes into effect in January) we’ll remove Spanish publishers from Google News, and close Google News in Spain.
The internet is a system of tubes, right?
Germany previously passed an unsuccessful law of this sort, but the difference is that most media companies waived their right to charge for excerpts because Google created so much traffic.
To make sure that the Spanish version was more successful, language stipulates that media companies MUST charge! There is no choice in the matter.
Today [Google's new service] is available in more than 70 international editions, covering 35 languages. It's a service that hundreds of millions of users love and trust, including many here in Spain. It's free to use and includes everything from the world's biggest newspapers to small, local publications and bloggers.
... For centuries publishers were limited in how widely they could distribute the printed page. The Internet changed all that -- creating tremendous opportunities but also real challenges for publishers as competition both for readers' attention and for advertising Euros increased. We're committed to helping the news industry meet that challenge and look forward to continuing to work with our thousands of partners globally, as well as in Spain, to help them increase their online readership and revenues.
Of course, this is not the whole story. From what we can tell and have reported before, copyright only was developed after the advent of the Gutenberg press. Its implementation was at least in part intended to slow the transmission of information that was undermining the sociopolitical and economic system of the time.
It didn't work very well, of course. The Holy Roman Empire was riven by Lutheranism and eventually the "Divine Right of Kings" – which depended on the endorsement of the Church – also collapsed.
Thank god for fair use, at least in this country, otherwise, BRT, and other blogs like it, would cease to exist.