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Si esa noticia se confirmase, España y sus culturas quedarían un poco más aisladas en la nueva geografía mundial de las culturas.
En la historia del premio Nobel, solo cinco españoles han recibido ese galardón literario: José de Echegaray (1904), Jacinto Benavente (1922), Juan Ramón Jiménez (1956), Vicente Aleixandre (1977) y Camilo José Cela (1989).
La evidencia salta a la vista: la gran cultura española contemporánea era / es invisible y desconocida para quienes concedieron / conceden ese reconocimiento universal, cuya historia está repleta de injusticias, incomprensiones y miserias, sin duda.
Incontables razones pudieran explicar tan absurda evidencia. La primera quizá sea la más sencilla y palmaria: la cultura española era invisible más allá de los Pirineos; sus grandes escritores (en distintas lenguas) no interesaban ni eran traducidos: eran invisibles. De hecho, los escritores gallegos (Rosalía) y catalanes (un larguísimo etcétera) eran invisibles en Madrid… Pedir a la prensa catalana que hable de la nueva poesía murciana, o pedir a la prensa madrileña que hable de la nueva poesía catalana es pedir peras a un olmo podrido.
Arrastrando tan desastrosas cacerolas, la ausencia de los medios españoles en Google los privará y privará a España de una visibilidad sencillamente catastrófica, para ellos, para España y para sus culturas.
Éramos pocos y mal avenidos. Ahora seremos invisibles.
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Financial Times ha sido el primero de los grandes medios internacionales en dar a la noticia el relieve que corresponde.
December 11, 2014 7:14 am
Thomas Hale in Madrid and Murad Ahmed in London
Google is shutting down its news service in Spain in one the tech company’s most defiant responses yet to an increasingly hostile legal environment in Europe.
“We’re incredibly sad to announce that, due to recent changes in Spanish law, we will be removing Spanish publishers from Google News and closing Google News in Spain,” said Richard Gingras, head of Google News, in a blog post published late on Wednesday.
Spain’s new copyright law, which will come in to effect on January 1, will force news aggregators to pay publishers a fee for content they link to. Failure to pay these fees, the size of which has not yet been specified, can trigger a fine of up to €600,000.
While Google’s news service in Spain – which can currently be found at news.google.es – will cease to exist on December 16, the law will not affect many of Google’s other operations in the country.
Google News is distinct from the company’s search engine. It uses an algorithm to filter and present news tailored in both language and content to the location of the user. As such, it primarily links to stories from publishers in the country in which the reader is based.
The Spanish law does not target search engines or social media websites, which also direct large volumes of traffic to news websites. However, it stands to affect comparable news filtering services provided by other online companies, including Yahoo News.
Google’s unprecedented response comes amid an avalanche of regulatory and legal challenges in Europe. Late in November, it was threatened by a European Parliamentary vote which could potentially culminate in a break-up of the company.
European publishers, many of whom have been forced to adapt to paradigm-shifting changes in the way news is consumed, have been some of the most vocal proponents of new restrictions on Google’s activities.
In October, the company was involved in a confrontation with German publisher Axel Springer, which was seeking compensation from Google for linking to snippets for news that appear in search engines.
After Google stopped linking to “snippets” from articles in Germany, most content providers quickly opted to allow the company to display its content free of charge, which effectively stymied any tangible impact the proposals would have had.
The situation in Spain differs markedly from Germany, in that there is no prospect of content providers or publishers being able to waive the fee. Google maintains that its news filtering service makes no money and that fees therefore make no sense.
“The new law requires publishers to charge Google News for showing even the smallest snippets of their content – whether they want to charge or not,” Mr Gingras blog post went on to say. “As Google News itself shows no ads and makes no revenue this approach is simply unsustainable.”
Worldwide, Google sends around 10bn clicks each month to news publishers. Around one billion of these clicks come from Google News, according to the company.
As the size of the fee has not yet been clarified in Spain, the specific financial cost that Google would incur in continuing its Spanish news aggregation service remains unclear.
Mr Gingras added that Google will “continue to work with our thousands of partners globally, as well as in Spain, to help them increase their online readership and revenues”.