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Despite the blockade of Facebook, Australian lawmakers are not expanding their idea of forcing big tech companies to share their revenues by law with news providers whose news appears on their pages. The proposal would hit the two biggest internet companies, Facebook and Google, hardest. They have a different strategy for dealing with the situation: while Google has begun entering into separate agreements with Australian media companies, Facebook has simply blocked Australian news sources from its sites.
The latter action did not go too well. In a great effort by Facebook, in addition to the pages of health care providers and NGOs, it has blocked government information pages and even accidentally even its own Australian corporate Facebook page.
But that didn’t affect the Australian parliament either, where the bill is only waiting for approval from the upper house. The final debate will begin on Monday, previously announced by Simon Birmingham of Australia
finance Minister for Trade that no amendments to the proposal will be tabled because it is as good as it is. As he said, it also ensures, in its current form, that the Australian media is legitimately compensated for the news it produces.
By law, techies are required to agree with news providers on pricing. If this fails on its own, the government may appoint arbitrators to negotiate the license fee. Birmingham said in a statement that if Google – which is much more dependent on such news content as its search engine is severely depreciated if it does not provide relevant results – is able to agree with news providers, then Facebook should be able to do the same. (Via Reuters)
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