Portada del sitio > Legislación > EFF critica la tasa google y la ley de propiedad intelectual española: (...)

Jeremy Malcolm, Electronic Frontier Foundation, November 6 2014
Yvonne Rodríguez, Bolsamania, 9 noviembre 2014

EFF critica la tasa google y la ley de propiedad intelectual española: peligrosa para el avance tecnológico

Documentos: Leyes de propiedad intelectual (2014) y de servicios de la sociedad de la información y de comercio electrónico (2014)

Lunes 10 de noviembre de 2014, por Redacción

- La fundación para los derechos de los usuarios del mundo digital, Electronic Frontier Foundation ha publicado un artículo en su página web en el que explica y critica la nueva ley de propiedad intelectual española [1] y las consecuencias negativas de la tasa google / Spanish Copyright Amendments Will Shakedown News Sites and Censor the Web.

Según la fundación, cuando la evolución tecnológica altera las industrias existen dos formas de sobrellevar este cambio. Una es la adaptación, aunque eso signifique eliminar los procesos de producción más antiguos y cambiar los propios productos por otros más innovadores.

La otra forma es, según estos, la más peligrosa. Se trata de apuntalar el modelo tradicional de negocio por medio de leyes proteccionistas que intentan contener el imparable avance de la evolución, en este caso, tecnológica.

Justo esta es la que los gobiernos europeos están llevando a cabo, sobre todo en el ámbito de la prensa, para frenar lo que ellos consideran un ataque a los derechos de autor.

La tasa google

Para la fundación, el ejemplo más claro de lo equivocado que resulta intentar frenar la revolución tecnológica por medio de leyes, es el de Alemania e Irlanda. En ambos países se ha exigido a Google un pago determinado por la reproducción de fragmentos de noticias y miniaturas de imágenes en los resultados de Google News.

Este movimiento fue tomado por Google como un ataque, por lo que decidió eliminar hipervínculos y otras cosas que facilitasen la llegada de los usuarios a las noticias. Por supuesto, las estadísticas de los medios bajaron a velocidades imposibles. El movimiento obligatorio y humillante que los editores han llevado a cabo deja clara la inutilidad de la medida: han pedido a Google que reindexe sus contenidos.

Con todo esto, en España se aprueba hace unas semanas una enmienda que da un desagradable giro a este proteccionismo incomprensible. Los agregadores de noticias no sólo tienen prohibido indexar contenidos de pago, sino el pago se hace obligatorio sea cual sea el contenido que se indexe.

Esto significa que los agregadores no podrán hacer uso ni siquiera de los medios o publicaciones con licencias libres, a no ser que deseen pagar la famosa Tasa Google.

Criminalizar las webs

Para la fundación, la nueva ley lo único que hace es ceder ante la presión de lobbys de grandes medios. Entre otras medidas que propone la nueva ley, alojar un sitio web que enlace contenidos, es decir, publicitar un agregador de noticias o utilizar webrings, expone a la web a pagar multas de hasta 600.000 euros.

Con esto, consiguen que los dueños de sitios webs, sea cual sea su contenido, se autocensuren a la hora de enlazar para no cometer una presunta infracción.

- Sobra decir que, como afirma la fundación, esta disposición va en contra de la sentencia del Tribunal de Justicia Europeo, que afirma que los hipervínculos no son una reproducción de las obras que enlazan.

En conclusión, Electronic Frontier Fundation considera que es demasiado tarde para hacer algo con esta ley, que entrará en vigor en enero de 2015.

November 6, 2014 | By Jeremy Malcolm

Spanish Copyright Amendments Will Shakedown News Sites and Censor the Web

When technological change disrupts industries, they can respond in one of two ways. First, they can adapt to this change by delivering innovative new products, even if this means cannibalizing their older products. This shift of the mapping industry from producing printed street maps to providing data for GPS devices is a good example. This is not to say that individual companies necessarily survived the shift, but the industry as a whole—and consumers—are better off for having moved on from established business models to embrace new technological possibilities.

A second way that industries can respond to technological change is by suing those whom they see as responsible for disrupting their old business models, or by lobbying for new protectionist laws to prop them up in a quixotic attempt to hold back the technological tide. Examples of this second approach to change include the music industry’s ill-fated war on peer-to-peer file sharing, and lobbying by taxi cartels for new laws to make it impossible for ride-sharing companies to compete with them.

Guess which of these options European news publishers have taken?

The “Google Tax”

We’ve reported before on how news publishers in Germany and Ireland have demanded that Google pay royalties for the reproduction of news snippets and image thumbnails next to search results in its Google News product. In France and Belgium publishers took this claim to the courts resulting in an eventual settlement from Google, whilst in Germany, lawmakers unwisely caved in and passed legislation in 2013 to grant the special copyright-like rights in news snippets that the publishers had demanded.

Illustrating how pointless this was, Google subsequently called the bluff of the German publishers, replacing their news snippets with simple hyperlinked headings rather than paying the royalties the publishers demanded, while the befuddled publishers watched their traffic stats drop away. In a humiliating backdown reported this week, the publishers have since gone back cap in hand to Google begging it to reindex their content, snippets and all.

Last week, Spain passed a similar amendment to its own copyright law, but with a nasty twist—not only are news aggregators prohibited from including news snippets without payment, but this right to payment is made inalienable. This means that aggregators are prohibited from negotiating with the publishers to waive the payment, as has occurred elsewhere in Europe. This would also seemingly frustrate the intent of any news publisher who released their work under a Creative Commons or other open license for royalty-free use.

Website Criminalization

- The same new Spanish law (here in PDF) makes other adverse and short-sighted changes to copyright law, bowing to the lobbying pressure of large content owners.

Worst of these other measures is the criminalization of hosting a website that merely links to infringing content, exposing them to crippling fines of up to €600,000. Liability is triggered as soon as the owner has been notified by email of the alleged infringement and fails to respond by self-censoring the allegedly infringing content. Even non-profit websites are exposed to liability, if they run advertisements to defray site expenses. This provision runs against a recent judgment of the European Court of Justice ruling that hyperlinks are not a reproduction of the copyright works they link to.

The law also newly targets businesses advertising on such websites, as well as those providing it with payment services, and authorizes the Spanish domain authority to cancel any “.es” domains under which they are hosted. (It is a shame that the Spanish legislators apparently think so little of Google News, because otherwise they might have read news snippets about a pair of ill-fated 2011 bills titled SOPA and PIPA that included similar Internet censorship provisions.)

In combination, these provisions will seriously chill speech online, casting a potential cloud of liability over website operators and the intermediaries who serve them. Rather than reducing the dissemination of copyright-infringing content, its only likely effect will be to drive Spanish websites offshore to a less hostile legal environment.

Unfortunately, it’s likely too late now to do much about this ill-considered law—it is already scheduled to take effect in January 2015. This is particularly poorly timed, since the European Commission is in the midst of composing a new Directive to modernize European copyright law, which is likely to be passed in that same year. Whilst the new Directive may (we can only hope) include liberalized copyright limitations and exceptions, Spain’s amendments to its copyright law go in precisely the opposite direction.

There is no doubt that technological change has hit newspaper publishers as well as other copyright owners. But a backward-looking law that penalizes innovators and threatens free speech on the Internet is not the solution.

Fair Use and Intellectual Property: Defending the Balance International EFF Europe

(9 de noviembre de 2014)


[1- Resulta necesario tener en cuenta asimismo la ley 34/2002, de servicios de la sociedad de la información y de comercio electrónico, cuya última modificación tuvo lugar con fecha 10-05-2014