Briefing

Australia to require Facebook and Google to pay for news

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The royalty-style licensing system will be open to media companies that create, publish and serve an Australian audience, and are subject to professional editorial standards and editorial independence with revenue exceeding A$150,000 per year. Notably, Australia’s public broadcasters are excluded from the program. The treasurer will decide which companies will be required to comply with the code, but has already decided to include Facebook and Google. Both companies argue that they deliver traffic to news sites, which they claim contributes to more than A$400 million combined in revenue to those publishers. (The Guardian)

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Talking point: Australia will become the first country to require the tech platforms to pay media companies once the code becomes law later this year. In May, Canada’s major news companies published an open letter to the federal government urging them to pass legislation requiring internet companies to pay their “fair share” of the cost of production of original news content. Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has indicated that Ottawa might follow France’s model of making large tech companies pay news publishers when they link to their content.