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Google blocks publishers over new Spanish law

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MADRID >> Google is locking Spanish publishers out of its popular Google News service in response to a new Spanish law that imposes fees for linking to the headlines and news stories on other websites.

The move announced Thursday will reverberate around the globe. Besides closing Google News in Spain, Google Inc. also is blocking reports from Spanish publishers in the more than other 70 other international editions packaged by Google News.

Google News’ exile of Spanish publishers begins Tuesday, a couple weeks before the start of a Spanish intellectual-property law requiring news publishers to be paid for their content, even if they are willing to give it away.

That means people in Latin America, where Spanish news organizations have sought to boost their digital audiences, won’t see news from Spain via Google News. Also set to disappear are reports in English from Spanish publishers like Madrid’s leading El Pais newspaper.

People who use Google’s standard search in Spain and anywhere else around the world will still be able to find articles on their own from Spanish publications, because the law applies only to aggregators and not to individuals who do their own searches outside of Google News. 

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