Briefing

Australia to introduce legislation next week compelling Google, Facebook to pay for news content

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The royalty-style licensing system will be open to media companies that create, publish and serve an Australian audience. Both Google and Facebook have threatened to pull their services from the country as a result of the proposed law. (Reuters)

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Talking point: Australia would become the first country to force tech platforms to pay for content to which users link. The country’s muscular approach toward Google and Facebook has been closely watched around the world. As The Logic reported earlier this month, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault plans to introduce similar legislation here in Canada. Both Google and Facebook have already taken similar umbrage at the possibility of an Australia-style law in Canada. Guilbeault also said he wanted to form a “formal coalition” with countries including Australia to push back against Big Tech’s dominance. An Australian senate committee concluded its study of the bill on Friday, recommending no changes despite pushback from the companies. Australia’s government hopes to pass the bill in parliament’s next two-week sitting, with debate starting Tuesday. It’s not clear what impact Google’s withdrawal from the country would have on its businesses.