Spain passes EU copyright law, paving way for return of Google News

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MADRID, November 2 (Reuters)Spain has adopted a European Union copyright directive that allows third-party online news platforms to negotiate directly with content providers, the government said on Tuesday, paving the way for Alphabet GOOGL.O Google News to return home.

Google News, which links to third-party content, shut down in Spain at the end of 2014 in response to legislation that required it to pay a collective royalty to republish headlines or news clips.

European legislation, which must be adopted by all member states, requires platforms such as Google, Facebook FB.O and others to share the revenue with the publishers, but it also removes the collective fees and allows them to enter into individual or group agreements with the publishers.

google said he wanted to bring his news services back to Spain, but would analyze the law closely before making a firm commitment.

“Based on the initial information … conditions look promising for the potential launch of Google News in Spain. However, we will have to see the final law before making any formal announcements,” a spokesperson said in an e- mail.

Spain’s Culture Ministry said the new law introduced national copyright law into into step with the digital environment and would help artists and creators to receive fair compensation for their work.

Arsenio Escolar, president of the CLBE publishers association, which brings together around 1000 press briefings, including major digital brands such as El Espanol and, expressed satisfaction with the new legislation.

“We are satisfied because the media editors have taken over the reins of the management of our rights, hijacked a few years ago by a law that we at CLABE have always considered unfair and harmful,” he said in a statement. electronic mail addressed to associates.

Reuters reported in February that some publishers represented by the AMI media association, which mainly represents the old guard of mainstream media, were in favor of keeping the old system.

AMI declined to comment on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Nathan Allen and Emma Pinedo; Editing by Susan Fenton and Gareth Jones)

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