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Monday, October 18, 2021

Media law to be changed in Australia as per the Agreement with Facebook

The Australian media law is changed. Facebook and government officials have agreed on this. News content comes back – but only in part.

After a week of negotiations, Facebook and the Australian government have reached an agreement: The media law will be changed. According to William Easton, Facebook’s Australian and New Zealander, the changes address Facebook’s concerns that posts have value for both the platform and publishers and that this has not yet been taken into account. So far, it has not been more specific, for example to what extent this value is incorporated into the negotiations.

Building on this, Facebook can now continue to invest in journalism and allow news again in the coming days, says the blog post . However, that doesn’t seem to affect all news. Under the “Facebook Journalism Project” it also says: “After negotiations with the Australian government, we reached an agreement that allows us to support the publishers we choose, including small and local publishers.” It is now clear that Facebook can still decide what is to be seen on the platform – and that there is no compulsion that Facebook has to negotiate with all publishers. The media law had stipulated that contracts must be signed with all news creators who, among other things, turn over more than 150,000 Australian dollars a year.

Unclear about the recipient of the license fees

In fact, with regard to the value of the link, it was already said in December that the Australian government would make concessions to Google and Facebook at this point . The forwarding of users through the two services should be taken into account when it comes to the amount of license fees that the media law provides.

Australia’s finance minister told several media outlets that Facebook had good intentions in the negotiations on payments and thanks Mark Zuckerberg for the constructive talks. It has been a difficult but important process because the government’s intention to ensure independent journalism is an important one.

Even Google has agreed largely with the government , namely a kind of payment model by News Showcase. Select publishers are paid to present curated news on this service. Google pays millions for this. Whether this also covers the search, i.e. the appearance of the publisher’s content in the search, is still unclear. The media law also targets these links.

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