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Google to terminate Google News Service over 'link tax' issue

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 20 November 2018, 16:20 IST

Google in Europe has plans to terminate Google News service if the European Union moves forward with the intention of linking tax for reproducing news stories in the member countries.

The link tax basically gives the content creators authority to charge search engines like Google for incorporating short pieces or even linking to their news articles.

EU Commission's proposal is to make certain that the rights of artists, musicians, script authors, publishers, journalists, and others are not violated. The artists should be given due and deserving payment for their work when used by sharing platforms such as YouTube or Facebook and new aggregators like Google News.

To put the rule changes into effect, individual member countries would have to draft local laws.

Richard Gingras, the search engine’s vice-president of news, told to the Guardian, “It’s not desirable to shut down service. The company was deeply concerned about the current proposals, which are designed to compensate struggling news publishers if snippets of their articles appear in search results.”

He told the Guardian that the future of Google News could depend on whether the EU was willing to alter the phrasing of the legislation. “We can’t make a decision until we see the final language,” he said.

He pointed out the last time a government attempted to charge Google for links, in 2014 in Spain, the company responded by shutting down Google News in the country. Spain passed a law requiring aggregation sites to pay for news links, in a bid to prop up struggling print news outlets. Google responded by closing the service for Spanish consumers, which he said prompted a fall in traffic to Spanish news websites.

First published: 20 November 2018, 16:20 IST