Australia Unveils Plan to Make Google, Facebook Pay for Media Content
By Staff, Agencies
Australia unveiled Friday its plan that will see Google and Facebook pay media outlets for the content posted on their platforms.
Canberra released a draft Code of Conduct regulating the relations between media and news services and the Big Tech companies dominating the Internet.
Besides the payments for content, the code also deals with access to user data, algorithm transparency and the ordering of search results.
“It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable media landscape,” Australian Finance Minister Josh Frydenberg said.
He added that the bill will be presented to the parliament in the coming weeks and will eventually apply to all online platforms using content from Australian media, with Google and Facebook getting the initial focus as the most powerful ones.
Google said it was "deeply disappointed" with the project. Google Australia and New Zealand CEO Mel Silva said that Canberra's "intervention" threatened Australia's digital economy and the prospects of Google service there.
The Australian initiative is being followed closely around the world at a time when the media is suffering in a digital economy where advertising revenue is increasingly captured by Facebook, Google and other big tech firms.
The media crisis has been compounded by the economic collapse caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus. In Australia, dozens of newspapers have been closed and hundreds of journalists sacked in recent months.