Australian government sends media bill proposal to parliament next week | NOW

The Australian government will send parliament next week a bill on a new code of conduct requiring Facebook and Google to pay for links to news articles.

Australia would be the first country in the world to do so. Initially, the legislation would only apply to the Facebook and Google Search news feed.

“The bill will be considered by parliament in the week beginning February 15,” said Josh Frydenberg, Australian Treasury Secretary. If the proposal also receives support from the opposition, the “unworkable” law according to Google could still be in effect this month.

The fact that the procedure surrounding the new law is moving so quickly is partly due to the fact that the senate committee that studied the proposal has no further recommendations.

Google and Facebook could not immediately respond to the news. The companies have put a lot of pressure on Frydenberg and Prime Minister Scott Morrison in recent months in the hope that they would compromise.

Google tried to show that bill is unnecessary

Google launched a news platform in Australia last month that pays for the news. Before that, Google independently concluded deals with publishers. The company hoped to be able to demonstrate that the bill is unnecessary.

In January, Google and French publishers agreed on an arrangement in which Google pays news media in exchange for the right to offer copy online. That was the first deal of its kind in Europe.


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