Keen copyright enthusiasts might be familiar with the German “Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverlege” (LSR) or, as it’s more commonly known (and easily pronounced) Lex Google. This legislation grants news agencies rights over commercial exploitation of their work for one year, including even small ’snippets’ of work.
The aim of the legislation was to allow news agencies to recoup some of the losses made after the advent of the internet.
In practice, though, Google News became opt-in, and many German news agencies waived their ancillary right, meaning that Google News could continue.
A similar right is due to be introduced in Spain on January 1, 2015. Spain’s IP reform was passed a few weeks ago, and will come into effect on the first of the new year.
Although the Spanish ancillary right is similar in principle to the German Lex Google, one critical difference is that the right cannot be waived.
As the IPKat points out, the new Intellectual Property law states that the right is “irrenunciable y se hará efectivo a través de las entidades de gestión de los derechos de propiedad intelectual” (Article 32 of the Ley de Propiedad Intelectual, as amended).
In response to this, Google published an announcement today that, as of December 16th 2014, they will remove all Spanish news providers from Google News, and close Google News Spain.
This development is certainly an interesting one, and it remains to be seen if it will spread further than these two isolated European incidences.