• Australia won't alter measure making Facebook, Google pay news outlets for content

    From 2 x loser to Trump, Nancy Pelosi@baltimore-nancy@sacbee.com to aus.politics,alt.politics.media,sac.politics,alt.politics.republicans,rec.arts.tv on Wed Feb 24 10:57:28 2021
    From Newsgroup: alt.politics.media

    Country's minister of finance says bill 'meets the right balance'

    CANBERRA - Australia will not alter legislation that would make Facebook
    and Alphabet Inc’s Google pay news outlets for content, a senior lawmaker
    said on Monday, as Canberra neared a final vote on whether to pass the
    bill into law.

    Ticker Security Last Change Change %
    FB FACEBOOK INC. 260.33 -1.23 -0.47%
    GOOG ALPHABET INC. 2,064.88 -36.26 -1.73%
    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.CANADA TO FOLLOW AUSTRALIA
    AND TAKE ON FACEBOOK, SEEKING PAYMENT FOR CONTENT

    Facebook has protested the laws. Last week it blocked all news content and several 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.

    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 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.”

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    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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    Lobby group DIGI, which represents Facebook, Google and other online
    platforms like Twitter Inc, meanwhile said on Monday that its members had agreed to adopt an industry-wide code of practice to reduce the spread of misinformation online.

    Under the voluntary code, they commit to identifying and stopping
    unidentified accounts, or “bots”, disseminating content; informing users
    of the origins of content; and publishing an annual transparency report,
    among other measures.

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