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Australia will not change the way Facebook and Google pay for content news outlets




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Canberra-Australia will not change the law to pay Facebook and Alphabet’s Google content news outlets as Canberra approaches the final vote on whether to pass the bill, senior lawmakers said Monday.

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Australia and the tech giant have been at odds over laws that are widely regarded as setting global precedents.

Other countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom, are already interested in taking some similar action. Canada is following Australia, taking Facebook and asking for content payments.

Facebook protested the law. Last week, it shocked the global news industry, whose business model was overturned by the technological revolutionary giant, blocking all news content and some state government and emergency department accounts.

There was no breakthrough in discussions between Australia and Facebook over the weekend.

As Canberra approaches the final vote on whether to pass the bill, Australia will not change the law to pay Facebook and Alphabet’s Google content news outlets, senior lawmakers said Monday. (AP Photo / Rick Rycroft)

When the Australian Senate began discussing legislation, the country’s top lawmakers in the Senate said there would be no further amendments.

“The current bill … is in the right balance,” Australia’s Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.

The current form of the bill guarantees that “Australia-generated news content by news organizations generated in Australia can and should be paid in a fair and legitimate manner.”

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The law gives the government the right to appoint an arbitrator to set a content license fee if private negotiations fail.

Both Google and Facebook are campaigning against the law, but last week Google signed deals with Australia’s top outlets, including a global deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

“There’s no reason Facebook can’t do what Google already has and can’t achieve it,” Birmingham added.

A Facebook representative refused to comment on Monday about a bill that passed the House of Representatives last week and has a majority support in the Senate.

On Tuesday, the final vote after the third reading of the so-called bill is scheduled.

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Meanwhile, lobby group DIGI, which represents other online platforms such as Facebook, Google and Twitter Inc, agreed on Monday that members would adopt an industry-wide code of conduct to reduce the spread of false information online. He said he did.

Under voluntary code, they promise to identify and suspend unidentified accounts, or “bots,” and spread their content. Notify the user of the source of the content. Above all, the publication of the annual transparency report.

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