Disruptive technologies are often met with lobbying efforts to block them by vested interests trying to preserve the status quo. One such example is the unsuccessful effort by taxi companies to use the law to hold back Uber’s advance, especially in Europe. Another is the European newspaper industry’s efforts to boost sagging revenues with strict “anti-piracy” laws that are effectively a “Google tax.”
The strategy of trying to force Google to pay publishers for their content, in the form of restrictive copyright laws, has been tried in Germany and Spain with unwelcome and unintended consequences for the publishers. In Germany, publishers saw traffic and ad-revenue declines; in Spain, Google shuttered its News site rather than be subject to the copyright scheme. It’s mysterious, then why the publishers are trying to expand this strategy to the entirety of Europe.
According to Politico, German publishing giant Axel Springer (which just spent $400+ million for Business Insider) is leading the charge to