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Australia’s efforts to regulate Facebook and Google are being carefully watched by other governments




Australian law goes even further than past efforts to force Google and Facebook to pay more for news publishers. The bill is expected to pass in the coming weeks, potentially surrendering authority to regulators and forcing Facebook and Google to pay publishers every time someone clicks a link to a news article on the site. there is.

This situation is a major case study of how far governments can drive big tech companies. Big tech companies have become one of the largest enterprises in history and have a significant impact on the way information is shared and consumed. Privacy concerns and the political erosion of social media have benefited politicians around the world from chasing Big Tech.

In the United States, the agreement that technology companies need to be regulated in some way is one of the few bipartisan issues. Outside the United States, tech giants have to deal with the fact that they are often seen as foreign invaders.

In an interview, Malta’s MP Alex Agius Saliva said in an interview that it’s not a matter of copying the system, but justice for the media industry, which has a fair ecosystem and is investing heavily in content. He talked about what to do.

News publications, which have been hit by the rise of the Internet over the last 25 years, have demanded money from Facebook and Google for years. The two companies have been repulsing for a long time, claiming that the traffic they send to news websites is extremely valuable. Facebook, Google, and tech giant Apple have all announced products that offer some compensation to news organizations in exchange for giving Internet users access to paywall articles.

Google spokeswoman Maggie Shields said he deeply appreciates the role of quality journalism in society. She added that the company facilitates visits to 24 billion news sites a month and invests $ 1 billion in news content partnerships. Facebook spokesman Adam Isserlis declined to comment. An Apple spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.

One of the key issues Google and Facebook have with Australian law is the fact that if news publishers and technology platforms can’t agree on payment rates, regulators can intervene to determine the terms. It will be a significant shift in power from private companies to governments that they still had to deal with. It is also attracting attention all over the world.

Johann Lidberg, a media professor at Monash University in Melbourne, said Australia was early. There can be quite a few countries that do this variation. “He added. There is an awakening to the fact that we have to do something.

Marthas Saliba, who has played a key role in the European Parliament’s efforts to reform digital law within the block, said he plans to meet with Australian counterparts to discuss their efforts. I think binding arbitration in the event of an agreement failure is an option we can investigate.

Efforts to get Google and Facebook to pay more for news publishers are nothing new. In 2014, Spain passed a law requiring Google to pay to aggregate news content in search results. The company responded by simply closing the news site. The European Union’s 2019 Copyright Act has also transferred more authority to news publishers, and Google has signed a deal with a French publisher to pay for posting news to parts of its vast digital empire. ..

Another major European politician, former Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, said he wanted to see if the copyright law passed in 2019 was sufficient to ensure that publishers were paid for content. But regulators said they wouldn’t curb it until it became a reality.

Ansip, now a member of the European Parliament, said in an interview that we would never stop until these platforms accept the author’s rights for fair compensation.

In Canada, the Liberal government, led by Justin Trudeau, has already announced this year that it will enact a law aimed at allowing news organizations to be paid for articles displayed on online platforms.

News isn’t free, it’s never been. Canada’s Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has a clear position in the statement. Publishers must be properly compensated for their work. He said Facebook and Google’s proposal to pay for some news well wasn’t enough. More sustainable solutions are needed to protect democracy while leveling the competition.

Michael Veale, a digital copyright and regulatory researcher at the University College London, said the move by Facebook and Google to demand more money from news organizations could backfire for the news industry. Stated. He said the government risks making tech giants even stronger as Facebook and Google create a system that replaces some of the revenue lost to the news industry due to the structural changes brought about by the Internet. ..

In a sense, this Australian law makes the platform too big to fail, Veale said. It makes them an inevitable part of the industry.

In any case, the march to more regulations is not slowing down.

Former Estonia’s prime minister, Ansip, said there was a strong need for stronger regulation when dealing with large platforms. There is a legal gap, and the United States and the European Union now need to fill this legal gap.

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