When it came time for Spain to try to appease its misguided and angry publishers, the government sought to avoid the tactics that Google had done in the past and thus made it mandatory to pay, saying that sites themselves couldn’t even opt-out of getting payments, even if they didn’t want them. In response to this, Google broke out the somewhat surprising “nuclear option” and shut down Google News in Spain entirely. It seemed quite obvious that this move would create huge problems for media properties that wanted to be open and wanted people to link to them.
After the law went into effect, the Spanish Association of Publishers of Periodical Publications (AEEPP) commissioned an economic study about the impact of the new Spanish ancillary copyright law — and found (not surprisingly) that the legal change (and the shuttering of Google News and other aggregators) was absolutely harmful to the Spanish news media and innovation in general. It also found strong evidence that, contrary to what those fighting against Google News have claimed, aggregators expand the market for the original sources, rather than shrink it by acting as a substitute. The latter is based on a “study of studies” basically, looking at all of the academic literature in terms of the impact of aggregators — all of which shows that it increases the overall size of the market, rather than shrinks it.