Facebook will drop ban on news pages in Australia

Posted:
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Claiming the Australian government has agreed to amendments in its proposed media law changes, Facebook has announced that it will restore news pages in the region.

Facebook


Following its removal of news, charity and initially also government pages in Australia, Facebook has announced that it will restore access. Users in Australia will shortly be able to access pages and share news again.

"Facebook has re-friended Australia," Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told BBC News. He added that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had told him the ban would end "in the coming days."

"Going forward, the [Australian] government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won't automatically be subject to forced negotiation," Facebook's vice president of global news partnerships, Campbell Brown, said. "We have come to an agreement that will allow us to support the publishers we choose to, including small and local publishers."

Fcacebook's ban was in response to proposed legislation that would require firms such as the social media giant, and Google, to pay for certain use of news sites. Reportedly, the new compromise includes an option for the Australian government to make an exception for Facebook.

That would require Facebook to demonstrate that it has made a "significant contribution" to local journalism.

If the proposals progress into law, there will now also be a new mediation period. Facebook, or other tech firms, will have two months to negotiate any particular deal before the government would impose arbitration on the two parties.

Separately, Google has announced a deal where it will pay "significant sums" to News Corp, owner of the Wall Street Journal, and Australian titles such as The Australian and news.com.au.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    News Corp owns 70% of print media in Oz, and 100% in my home state. All this is about the government paying back Murdoch for winning them the last election. 
    williamlondonStrangeDayslolliverFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 8
    jibberj said:
    News Corp owns 70% of print media in Oz, and 100% in my home state. All this is about the government paying back Murdoch for winning them the last election. 
    How flaming ignorant!

    Even if this comment is true, the Australian Federal Government's dispute with Fakebook and Giggle, was all about on-line news, NOT print media ... doh!  The Fakebook and Giggle gorillas have been pinching (i.e. steeling) quality journalists work, having that news being displayed on their sites like it is theirs and not paying for the stuff.

    Hey, why don't you let me go into your garage take your car and drive it around town hanging out the windows like it's mine !!  But I think there is a law about that ??
    williamlondonelijahgFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 8
    Hey, why don't you let me go into your garage take your car and drive it around town hanging out the windows like it's mine !!  But I think there is a law about that ??


    williamlondonelijahgwatto_cobra
    iu.jpeg 17.2K
  • Reply 4 of 8
    prokip said:
    jibberj said:
    News Corp owns 70% of print media in Oz, and 100% in my home state. All this is about the government paying back Murdoch for winning them the last election. 
    How flaming ignorant!

    Even if this comment is true, the Australian Federal Government's dispute with Fakebook and Giggle, was all about on-line news, NOT print media ... doh!  The Fakebook and Giggle gorillas have been pinching (i.e. steeling) quality journalists work, having that news being displayed on their sites like it is theirs and not paying for the stuff.

    Hey, why don't you let me go into your garage take your car and drive it around town hanging out the windows like it's mine !!  But I think there is a law about that ??
    Er, no. I'm no FB lover but linking to public web content is not "stealing" anything. When you clicked one of these links it opens up the news company's website with their advertising. If news companies don't want their stories linked to, they're free to put up paywalls. The web is open and you can't charge people for linking to public content. 

    From FB's earlier statement:

    "In fact, and as we have made clear to the Australian government for many months, the value exchange between Facebook and publishers runs in favor of the publishers — which is the reverse of what the legislation would require the arbitrator to assume. Last year Facebook generated approximately 5.1 billion free referrals to Australian publishers worth an estimated AU$407 million."
    edited February 23 lolliverRayz2016
  • Reply 5 of 8
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,671member
    jibberj said:
    News Corp owns 70% of print media in Oz, and 100% in my home state. All this is about the government paying back Murdoch for winning them the last election. 
    There you go again.  It's not 70%.  It's 64.2% in metropolitan areas, according to Wikipedia.  Secondly, you're just spouting off a conspiracy theory for which you have no evidence.  It all comes down to your silly "right wing government" notion you tried last time.  
    elijahgboltsfan17watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 8
    prokip said:
    jibberj said:
    News Corp owns 70% of print media in Oz, and 100% in my home state. All this is about the government paying back Murdoch for winning them the last election. 
    How flaming ignorant!

    Even if this comment is true, the Australian Federal Government's dispute with Fakebook and Giggle, was all about on-line news, NOT print media ... doh!  The Fakebook and Giggle gorillas have been pinching (i.e. steeling) quality journalists work, having that news being displayed on their sites like it is theirs and not paying for the stuff.

    Hey, why don't you let me go into your garage take your car and drive it around town hanging out the windows like it's mine !!  But I think there is a law about that ??
    Butthurt?

    The law also covered just a URL link to a news article/site (no metadata or summary) - you link, you pay.  That simply can't work on the web.
    lolliver
  • Reply 7 of 8
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,314member
    prokip said:
    jibberj said:
    News Corp owns 70% of print media in Oz, and 100% in my home state. All this is about the government paying back Murdoch for winning them the last election. 
    How flaming ignorant!

    Even if this comment is true, the Australian Federal Government's dispute with Fakebook and Giggle, was all about on-line news, NOT print media ... doh!  The Fakebook and Giggle gorillas have been pinching (i.e. steeling) quality journalists work, having that news being displayed on their sites like it is theirs and not paying for the stuff.

    Hey, why don't you let me go into your garage take your car and drive it around town hanging out the windows like it's mine !!  But I think there is a law about that ??
    Er, no. I'm no FB lover but linking to public web content is not "stealing" anything. When you clicked one of these links it opens up the news company's website with their advertising. If news companies don't want their stories linked to, they're free to put up paywalls. The web is open and you can't charge people for linking to public content. 

    From FB's earlier statement:

    "In fact, and as we have made clear to the Australian government for many months, the value exchange between Facebook and publishers runs in favor of the publishers — which is the reverse of what the legislation would require the arbitrator to assume. Last year Facebook generated approximately 5.1 billion free referrals to Australian publishers worth an estimated AU$407 million."
    The issue as I read it is the preview, which is essentially the article's lead copied verbatim. 
  • Reply 8 of 8
    There was a lawsuit decades ago from the then-publishers of Dilbert. The argument was that any website was able to include a link to any piece of content hosted by the publisher, and other sites were thus able to include the Dilbert cartoon without compensating the publisher for the hosting and content licensing. I would guess that most people feel sympathetic to that argument, and IIRC the legal result was in the publisher's favour.

    Around the same time there was an approach of placing the entirety of a page from another site within a frame - this meant that you could place your own content, like ads or social commentary, around the source site which would appear to its publisher as though it was being presented according to the content owner's wishes. But this was detectable by the host with minimal analysis of the server logs; I don't recall any legal proceedings that were taken but I imagine copyright laws were enforced at some point.

    Then the idea of showing a "preview" of another page came into vogue. My layperson's understanding equates this legal matter to the Dilbert scenario, and I believe this is the motivation behind the proposed law: if you're scraping someone else's site for content, you need permission because you're creating costs for that other party while potentially avoiding the mechanisms they have set up to generate revenues to recoup those costs. On a small scale it's too costly to take action against, but at Facebook and Google levels the impact becomes significant.

    I think both sides have valid arguments - the aggregators are appropriating the publisher's process of advertising their wares to increase the value of their own business, but interested customers will still load the content from the publisher's site and thus traffic is being delivered to them due to greater discoverability. But the devil is in the details and there are many other factors that need to be considered in making a judgement, and many historical assumptions that need to be re-evaluated.
    watto_cobra
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