Australia Passed Law Against Google, Facebook Wills

Australia passed a new media law in which Google and Facebook are required to negotiate licensing agreements with publishers

After Facebook pulled news from its platform in protest, the government of Australia agreed to make the News Media Bargaining Code law for Facebook and Google to sign a commercial deal with publishers.

According to the new media law, Google and Facebook are required to negotiate licensing agreements with publishers for the news articles that appear on Google search and Facebook’s feed.

The row started between the Australian government and the tech giants as the media outlets were losing heavily revenues generated from advertising revenue to US tech firms.

If passed, the law could have global consequences for tech firms and access to online news.

The conflict between Australia and the internet titans continued as Google threatened to pull its search product out of the country and Facebook took the unprecedented step of cutting news out of feeds in Australia for five days before the government offered concessions to the code.

“This legislation will help level the playing field and see Australian news media businesses paid for generating original content,” said Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, a key figure in negotiating with Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, the heads of Facebook and Google respectively.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau said “he intends to ensure the revenues of web giants are shared more fairly with creators and media.”

This Australia’s example has been cited by the Ministers in the UK and EU for potential future legislation, whereas, France has already implemented an EU copyright law with aims similar to the Code.

Nick Clegg, head of global affairs, said “It is understandable that some media conglomerates see Facebook as a potential source of money to make up for their losses, but does that mean they should be able to demand a blank check?”

A 30-year-old, marketing manager of gaming content named Attack on Geek, said “This is a big eye-opener that you shouldn’t just use one app or one provider for everything,” she said. “You should diversify as much as possible.”

Facebook and Google were given a deadline of 90 days to reach compensation agreements with news publishers under the media code.

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Later, in response to the new media law, Face­book has pledged to invest at least $1 billion to support journalism over the next three years.

The investment is announced as a result of a dispute with Australia’s overpayments to media organizations.

Clegg said in a statement “Facebook is more than willing to partner with news publishers.”

After Facebook has restored news links, Clegg confirmed “We recognize quality journalism is at the heart of how open societies function — informing and empowering citizens and holding the powerful to account.”

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