Facebook announced on Tuesday that it would end last week’s media content block from Australia. This is the result of an agreement with the Australian government that agreed to amendments to the bill forcing the portal to pay for news content.
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End of blockade
As Facebook vice president Campbell Brown wrote in a statement, the decision to end the blockade is the result of talks with Australian authorities.
We have come to an agreement that will allow us to support the publishers we choose, including small and local publishers. (…) The government explained that we would retain the possibility to decide whether the news would appear on Facebook, so as not to be automatically subject to forced negotiations
For over a week, the portal has been blocking media content in Australia in protest against the bill which is being processed, which would force Google and Facebook to pay for news content appearing on their websites. Google, which initially also threatened to cut Australia from its services, eventually began negotiations with publishers before the law came into force.
As Reuters writes, the government proposed four amendments to the draft, which, inter alia, they give Facebook and publishers an additional two months to negotiate terms and conditions before a government arbitrator enters the game.
We will continue to invest in media globally and resist the efforts of media conglomerates to promote a regulatory framework that does not take into account the real exchange of value between publishers and platforms such as Facebook
Said Brown. She referred to the fact that among the supporters of the new law are the largest media in Australia, including the News Corporation of billionaire Rupert Murdoch.
„A replacement battle “
On February 17, the Australian Senate held the first debate on the bill that had previously been passed in the House of Representatives.
Australia’s Treasury (Finance) Minister Josh Frydenberg, who negotiated with Facebook, said in a statement that the new amendments were intended to clarify the rules of the planned law and ensure publishers were “fairly rewarded”. The minister later added that the dispute with Facebook is a “proxy battle” for the wider struggle over a model of new relationships between internet giants and media and governments.
kk / PAP
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