Australia to push ahead with FB, Google legislation
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1 week ago 08:42:36am

Australia to push ahead with FB, Google legislation

New Delhi, 23, February, 2021, By IBW Team

मीडिया

After having lobbied with various governments, including India, Australia has said it would not alter legislation that would make Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google pay news outlets for content

Australia and the tech giants have been in a stand-off over the legislation widely seen as setting a global precedent. Other countries including Canada and Britain have already expressed interest in taking some sort of similar action. Aussie PM last week spoke to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi too on the issue, according to wire agency reports.

Facebook has protested the laws. Last week it blocked all news content and several Australian state government and emergency department accounts, in a jolt to the global news industry, which has already seen its business model upended by the titans of the technological revolution, Reuters reported from Canberra.

Talks between Australia and Facebook over the weekend yielded no breakthrough.

As Australia’s senate began debating the legislation, the country’s most senior lawmaker in the upper house said there would be no further amendments.

“The bill as it stands … meets the right balance,” Simon Birmingham, Australia’s Minister for Finance, told Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio, the Reuters dispatch stated.

The bill in its present form ensures “Australian-generated news content by Australian-generated news organisations can and should be paid for and done so in a fair and legitimate way”.

The laws would give the government the right to appoint an arbitrator to set content licencing fees if private negotiations fail.

While both Google and Facebook have campaigned against the laws, Google last week inked deals with top Australian outlets, including a global deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

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

A Facebook representative declined to comment on Monday on the legislation, which passed the lower house last week and has majority support in the Senate.

A final vote after the so-called third reading of the bill is expected on Tuesday.


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