Australia’s parliament passed a new law on Thursday that will require Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. pay out handsomely for content created by media companies put on their platforms.
You can almost hear the powers that be in social media outlets across the country crying their eyes out.
After robust negotiations in which Facebook blocked all news content in the 13th-largest economy, the vote makes Australia the first nation where a government arbitrator can set the price tech giants pay domestic media if private talks fail.
“The code will ensure news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate, helping to sustain public interest journalism,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a joint statement.
Facebook’s news ban, which also blacked out many nonprofit and government pages, including those of public health agencies promoting reliable information about COVID-19, would be lifted the following day, Frydenberg added in a radio interview, eight days after the measure took effect.
Representatives of both Google and Facebook did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
Of course they didn’t comment. They already have egg on their faces for blocking the content in Australia, which caused all those issues with nonprofit organizations and such. They don’t want to make themselves look any more foolish than they already do.
The new revised code will enable tech companies to have a longer period of time to make deals with various media companies before the state government gets involved. This law will be reviewed within a year’s time after it takes effect according to the joint statement.
As of now, no start date has been set.