European Union (EU) ‘Link Tax’ prompts google news to discontinue its news services abroad.
Google is set to withdraw Google news service in EU countries due to the undesirable internet restrictions, enforced by the European parliament.
The sweeping new internet laws in the EU region introduces “link tax” referring to Article 11, which would require companies like Google to acquire licenses for linking to publishers.
The legislation including Article 11 was proposed in July, followed a backlash, for being too sweeping. After being amended, the article avoids penalizing the hyperlinks to articles with an “individual word” description. It also lists the remuneration benefits enjoyed by journalists, if the articles were used by feed readers. However, the legislation is subjected to a final vote, in 2019
Google’s search engine’s vice-president of news, Richard Gingras, told The Guardian that “Google won’t rule out shutting down Google News in EU countries if the European Parliament enforces a so-called link tax.” He expressed his undesirability to shut down services, by saying that the company isn’t happy with Brussel’s current proposal to charge a link tax for using news stories.
According to Richard Gingras, the future of Google News in the EU could depend on whether the changes to the legislation are initiated. “We can’t make a decision until we see the final language,” he said.
Google news is not a major part of the company’s profits, but is valuable for the end users, Richard emphasized. “There’s no advertising in Google News. It is not a revenue-generating product to Google. We think it’s valuable as a service to society. We are proud to have it as part of the stable of properties that people have,” Gringas further said.
EU’s contentious internet laws, are not only facing criticisms by Google. The introduction to article 13, was also viewed negatively. It required companies like Reddit, Facebook, and Google-owned YouTube to supervise and remove copyright violation on their websites.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki voting against Article 13 stated that EU residents were at risk of being “cut off” from videos on the site.