Global round-up: Law to force aggregators to pay publishers

Law to force aggregators to pay publishers

A bill has been passed in the lower house of Spanish parliament which will tax Google and other news aggregators if they link to the content of publishers.

As constructed, the law is intended to address concerns around breaches of copyright by aggregators in their use and appropriation of online news content.

If the law is ratified in the Spanish senate, then publishers will be able to seek remuneration from any site that links their content and “uses ‘non significant fragments’ of the news story linked to”.

The Washington Post  reports that aggregators that do not pay publishers for using their content under the law “could be fined 30,000 to 300,000 euros. Web sites risk being blocked if they do not comply with the law, even if they are hosted in other countries.”

According to James Dean in The Times, the ripple effect of this decision, and a similar law passed in Germany last year, could spread across the European Union, possibly resulting in in the European Commission seeking to harmonise the law across EU countries.

“If…adopted by the UK, publishers such as Mail Online and The Guardian website would be hardest hit. Both newspaper sites, which have large online readerships, rely in part on news aggregators to drive web traffic to them. The more traffic they have, the more money they earn from advertising.”

The fallout for publishers and online news consumers in Spain could be immense, according to Julio Alonso, the founder and CEO of Weblogs SL, a Spanish digital media company.

Alonso wrote of the law: “it is rumoured that if the law is finally passed, Google is ready to shut down the Spanish version of Google News. At the end, the newspapers editors will not see a dime. Those who have them, like Google, will rather close their Spanish service.”

66pc of FT subscriptions now digital

The Financial Times has increased its digital subscriptions to 455,000, a 33 per cent increase year on year.

Two thirds of the newspaper’s paying readership now accesses its content through digital subscriptions, with total subscriptions now at 677,000 across print and digital.

According the Financial Times’ 2014 interim statement, mobile now accounts for almost 50 per cent of total traffic and drives 20 per cent of new digital subscriptions.

Washington Post launches Storyline

The Washington Post has launched its own data-focused, “explanatory” journalism site, which will be the newspaper’s version of The New York Times new site The Upshot, and other new sites by former Times and Post journalists Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight) and Ezra Klein (Vox.com).

The site, which launched last week, is called Storyline, and will focus on public policy and specifically, as editor Jim Tankersley wrote in his introductory post, “policy as experienced by people across America”.

This policy-people focus will be the essence of the website according to Tankersley. Storyline will centre on “the problems in people’s lives that demand a shift from government policymakers and about the way policies from Washington are shifting how people live”.

Mail Online ad revenue up 49pc

The Mail Online has experienced a 49 per cent increase in ad revenue year on year in the quarter to June 30.

Growth in digital advertising revenue for The Mail Online offset a £3 million decrease in print advertising revenues for the Daily Mail and the Mail On Sunday, a 5 per cent fall for the quarter.

For more news from The Newspaper Works, click here.

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