MINNEAPOLIS, Nov 15 (Reuters) – An Australian law giving the government power to make internet giants like Facebook and Google negotiate content supply deals with media outlets has largely worked, a government report said.
Though the law, which took effect in March 2021 after talks with big tech, may need to be extended to other online platforms, the review said.
Since the News Media Bargaining Code took effect, 30 deals between media outlets and tech firms have been signed. The hubs for these activities have been inked less than two weeks since the Treasury department released their report.
“At least some of these new agreements have enabled news businesses to, in particular, employ additional journalists and make other valuable investments to assist their operations,” said the report.
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Date Published: December 2, 2018
Latest Update: 09:30 AM GMT+5
The Australian government has found that the law giving Facebook and Google money for hosting information that leads to a reduced sale of news has been successful.
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An Australian law has so far been successful in forcing Facebook and Google to negotiate with media outlets over what content they show, according to a government report.
The law which came into effect in March 2021 after talks with the big tech firms led to a brief shutdown of Facebook news feeds in the country may need to be extended to other online platforms, according to the review.
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Tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google now have more than 30 deals in place with major media outlets to compensate them for their content. It’s a part of the News Media Bargaining Code that was enacted last week.
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The Transactional Journalism article noted that, “at least some of these agreements have enabled news businesses to employ more people and make other valuable investments to help their operations.”
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“Views on the success of the Code will vary, but it’s reasonable to conclude that the Code is a success to date.”
The report mostly suggested that the government look for new ways to assess the way the law is being enforced, but did not suggest any changes to the law.
Though the law was designed to encompass all digital platforms, it also noted that there was no formal mechanism to extend the Code to other platforms. It advised the government to order COMCO, the competition regulator who led in designing the law, on whether or not these other platforms should be addressed.
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A recent law in Australia has succeeded in making Facebook and Google pay for news, which is a major victory for the newspaper industry.
Written by Byron Kaye
In this illustration, a 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a Google logo.
This sentence does not need to be rewritten.
SYDNEY, Dec 2 Reuters- A new Australian law giving the government the power to make internet giants Facebook and Google negotiate content supply deals with media outlets has largely worked, a government report said.
But the law may need to be extended to other online platforms after “the talks with the big tech firms led to a brief shutdown of Facebook news feeds in the country,” according to a review by a committee.
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The News Media Bargaining Code has caused tech firms to ink more than 30 deals with media outlets. Those agreements would compensate the news companies for content that generates clicks and advertising dollars, according to the Treasury Department Report published late Thursday.
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The report says: “At least some of these agreements have enabled news businesses to, in particular, employ additional journalists and make other valuable investments to assist their operations.”
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Some might argue that the Code has been a success while others claim it has failed. Regardless, many believe that the current state of affairs is a positive step to mending our fractured media landscape.
The analysis found that the law should be considered for an overhaul. It did not, however, recommend any changes to the law itself.
The article notes that the law lacks “a formal mechanism to extend the Code to other platforms,” and recommends that the government commission the competition regulator to “prepare reports on this question.”
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“The study shows the Code has been successful in balancing bargaining power between news media and digital platforms,” Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones said.
“Digital platforms should negotiate in good faith with news firms to ensure they are fairly compensated for the news content they create.”
Google’s director of government affairs, Lucinda Longcroft, said that it had “further increased our contribution to the Australian news industry” by signing deals with more than 200 Australian newspapers. The majority of the papers are regional and local.
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