Australia set to enact bill making Facebook, Google pay for news

Posted:
in General Discussion
The proposal to require Facebook and other big tech firms to pay for news, has passed its last major parliamentary hurdle in Australia, and is now expected to become law.

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Australia's Senate has passed the proposal that would see big tech companies pay for news, or be subject to binding arbitration if they cannot reach a deal with publishers. The upper chamber voted to accept the bill with the amendments agreed on following Facebook's banning of news pages in protest.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the bill will now return to the Australian parliament's lower chamber, the House of Representatives. This body previously passed the unamended version, so it is expected to agree to this edition.

The House of Representatives may vote on the bill as soon as Thursday, February 25. If passed, it will then become law once it is signed by Australia's governor-general.

Facebook agreed to resume access to news pages in the region after the government agreed to certain amendments. These included specifying a two-month period for negotiations before an arbitration process begins.

It also allows for the Australian government to effectively make an exemption for Facebook, if the social media giant can demonstrate that it has made a "significant contribution" to local journalism.

While the bill, and the controversy around it, has appeared to chiefly concentrate on Facebook and Google, it's expected to apply to all large tech firms. And it may prove to be a model that other countries and states will adopt.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    Facebook agreed to resume access to news pages in the region after the government agreed to certain amendments.
    So Facebook is big enough to negotiate with governments on how their laws are written? Is Australia going to consult with Facebook on all future laws too?

    twokatmewwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,917member
    What about paying each whose information is used to target with adv where Google,Facebook make money ?
  • Reply 3 of 13
    wood1208 said:
    What about paying each whose information is used to target with adv where Google,Facebook make money ?
    I would love to know what you are saying, but even after reading your post 5 times, I can't figure it out. Sorry.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    ”pay for news”

    I think it would be fair to mention in the subject and at least in the article that the law makes Facebook and Google pay for *links to news*.

    The law also forces them to show these links in search results (Google) or in the timeline as people post links (Facebook).

    And Facebook has to pay even if journalists share their own work there. Probably also in the case newspapers themselves post the links.

    So: Facebook and Google are not publishing newspaper content for free anywhere, as  “make them pay for news” makes one believe. This is about links and the short snippets they might show alongside.

    Just wondering when everybody must pay if you link to someone else’s work. That’s kinda the purpose of the World Wide Web.

    (yes Facebook especially sucks, but it doesn’t make this law right)
    williamlondongatorguy
  • Reply 5 of 13
    wood1208 said:
    What about paying each whose information is used to target with adv where Google,Facebook make money ?
    I would love to know what you are saying, but even after reading your post 5 times, I can't figure it out. Sorry.
    Facebook and Google are making money by using people's information to show them targeted advertisements. The OP's question is - How about Google/Facebook paying back to the people whose data was used by Google/Facebook to make money?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    Rupert Murdoch can still pull the strings of Australian politicians.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    wood1208 said:
    What about paying each whose information is used to target with adv where Google,Facebook make money ?
    I would love to know what you are saying, but even after reading your post 5 times, I can't figure it out. Sorry.
    Facebook and Google are making money by using people's information to show them targeted advertisements. The OP's question is - How about Google/Facebook paying back to the people whose data was used by Google/Facebook to make money?
    (Thanks for clarifying what he meant.) 

    Sure, if you want to get the law changed to require that. If one of you proposes such a law, I will consider it. The only problem I foresee with the idea is that it legitimizes Facebook's approach, and I don't want it legalized. Legalizing things that are bad for people is usually a bad idea. Would you legalize hard drugs by taxing them?
  • Reply 8 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,286member
    wood1208 said:
    What about paying each whose information is used to target with adv where Google,Facebook make money ?
    I would love to know what you are saying, but even after reading your post 5 times, I can't figure it out. Sorry.
    Facebook and Google are making money by using people's information to show them targeted advertisements. The OP's question is - How about Google/Facebook paying back to the people whose data was used by Google/Facebook to make money?
    TFS... Trade For Services? That's something I use for my general model shoots, photos in return for rights to publish.
    edited February 2021
  • Reply 9 of 13
    etiquette said:
    ”pay for news”

    I think it would be fair to mention in the subject and at least in the article that the law makes Facebook and Google pay for *links to news*.

    The law also forces them to show these links in search results (Google) or in the timeline as people post links (Facebook).

    And Facebook has to pay even if journalists share their own work there. Probably also in the case newspapers themselves post the links.

    So: Facebook and Google are not publishing newspaper content for free anywhere, as  “make them pay for news” makes one believe. This is about links and the short snippets they might show alongside.

    Just wondering when everybody must pay if you link to someone else’s work. That’s kinda the purpose of the World Wide Web.

    (yes Facebook especially sucks, but it doesn’t make this law right)
    Agreed

    I live in aus - this law makes no sense...until you realise the hold Fairfax and New Corp have over the countries Politicians and just how poorly these two media "giants" are doing - esp. their news media

    This is a money grab for them via their manipulation of our "elected" representatives (because you wont get elected in Aus without nice friendly articles in the main stream press - basically because the avg australian makes the avg yank look like a genius)

  • Reply 10 of 13
    Facebook agreed to resume access to news pages in the region after the government agreed to certain amendments.
    So Facebook is big enough to negotiate with governments on how their laws are written? Is Australia going to consult with Facebook on all future laws too?

    yes and no - the balance in the senate is so tight - that they only need to "persuade" one or two senators of their point of view
  • Reply 11 of 13
    wood1208 said:
    What about paying each whose information is used to target with adv where Google,Facebook make money ?
    I would love to know what you are saying, but even after reading your post 5 times, I can't figure it out. Sorry.
    Facebook and Google are making money by using people's information to show them targeted advertisements. The OP's question is - How about Google/Facebook paying back to the people whose data was used by Google/Facebook to make money?
    (Thanks for clarifying what he meant.) 

    Sure, if you want to get the law changed to require that. If one of you proposes such a law, I will consider it. The only problem I foresee with the idea is that it legitimizes Facebook's approach, and I don't want it legalized. Legalizing things that are bad for people is usually a bad idea. Would you legalize hard drugs by taxing them?
    You've been talking to the Aus and NZ green parties havent you...they would love to legalize all drugs - they would legalize murder if they could find a way to monetize it
  • Reply 12 of 13
    wood1208 said:
    What about paying each whose information is used to target with adv where Google,Facebook make money ?
    I would love to know what you are saying, but even after reading your post 5 times, I can't figure it out. Sorry.
    Facebook and Google are making money by using people's information to show them targeted advertisements. The OP's question is - How about Google/Facebook paying back to the people whose data was used by Google/Facebook to make money?
    (Thanks for clarifying what he meant.) 

    Sure, if you want to get the law changed to require that. If one of you proposes such a law, I will consider it. The only problem I foresee with the idea is that it legitimizes Facebook's approach, and I don't want it legalized. Legalizing things that are bad for people is usually a bad idea. Would you legalize hard drugs by taxing them?
    You've been talking to the Aus and NZ green parties havent you...they would love to legalize all drugs - they would legalize murder if they could find a way to monetize it
    It's not as simple as that. The costs associated with managing the impact of illegal drugs on our society include trying to limit the distribution, trying to educate the general public on the health risks, dealing with the death/debilitation of people who use low-quality drugs (where the supplier has tried to maximise profits by substituting inactive and/or harmful ingredients), and managing the petty crime (and other risky behaviours) committed by addicts whose mental and emotional capacity is impacted by the drugs in question.

    Funnily enough, it's a similar set of problems for legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco.

    For now, the only evidence we have regarding the impact of "legalizing" hard drugs is Portugal, where the drugs are still illegal but possession and use is viewed as a health risk problem and not a criminal problem. For a quick overview: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/portugal-decriminalised-drugs-14-years-ago-and-now-hardly-anyone-dies-overdosing-10301780.html

    Again, it's not simple, but in general terms legalizing things that are bad for you and taxing them will lead to reduced consumption. The taxes reduce the net economic burden of the other mitigation activities pursued.

    Back to the article discussion, I am very worried that this law is being passed without due consideration for the long-term consequences. Similar laws will be enacted world-wide, probably with even less discussion and review because of the precedent being set here. I remain convinced that the ACCC has defensible motivations for following this through, but like others I see the hand of entrenched private interests steering the outcome. What has the world come to when I agree with Jacqui Lambie???
  • Reply 13 of 13
    wood1208 said:
    What about paying each whose information is used to target with adv where Google,Facebook make money ?
    I would love to know what you are saying, but even after reading your post 5 times, I can't figure it out. Sorry.
    Facebook and Google are making money by using people's information to show them targeted advertisements. The OP's question is - How about Google/Facebook paying back to the people whose data was used by Google/Facebook to make money?
    (Thanks for clarifying what he meant.) 

    Sure, if you want to get the law changed to require that. If one of you proposes such a law, I will consider it. The only problem I foresee with the idea is that it legitimizes Facebook's approach, and I don't want it legalized. Legalizing things that are bad for people is usually a bad idea. Would you legalize hard drugs by taxing them?
    You've been talking to the Aus and NZ green parties havent you...they would love to legalize all drugs - they would legalize murder if they could find a way to monetize it
    It's not as simple as that. The costs associated with managing the impact of illegal drugs on our society include trying to limit the distribution, trying to educate the general public on the health risks, dealing with the death/debilitation of people who use low-quality drugs (where the supplier has tried to maximise profits by substituting inactive and/or harmful ingredients), and managing the petty crime (and other risky behaviours) committed by addicts whose mental and emotional capacity is impacted by the drugs in question.

    Funnily enough, it's a similar set of problems for legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco.

    For now, the only evidence we have regarding the impact of "legalizing" hard drugs is Portugal, where the drugs are still illegal but possession and use is viewed as a health risk problem and not a criminal problem. For a quick overview: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/portugal-decriminalised-drugs-14-years-ago-and-now-hardly-anyone-dies-overdosing-10301780.html

    Again, it's not simple, but in general terms legalizing things that are bad for you and taxing them will lead to reduced consumption. The taxes reduce the net economic burden of the other mitigation activities pursued.

    Back to the article discussion, I am very worried that this law is being passed without due consideration for the long-term consequences. Similar laws will be enacted world-wide, probably with even less discussion and review because of the precedent being set here. I remain convinced that the ACCC has defensible motivations for following this through, but like others I see the hand of entrenched private interests steering the outcome. What has the world come to when I agree with Jacqui Lambie???
    I appreciate a thoughtful and polite argument like yours, but the article you cited actually disagrees with you. In the article you cited about Portugal, the doctor who created the legalization policy in Portugal, "it's very difficult to identify a causal link between decriminalisation by itself and the positive tendencies we have seen." So when you say "in general terms legalizing things that are bad for you and taxing them will lead to reduced consumption" you are creating a causal link which the doctor in Portugal advised us not to do. You said "lead to" when the article said "it is very difficult" to determine a link. So where is your evidence of a link, since the article you cited denies that a link can be proven by the Portugal results?
    muthuk_vanalingam
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