Facebook it will end with the news blackout in Australia that he imposed to protest the law that regulates payments for content to journalistic companies that they use for free. It was later that the Australian Senate agreed to modify codes of law, which will establish how they pay and agree with the media they are strangling. Legislation that at least 15 other countries in the world will imitate, started by Great Britain and Canada.
Facebook will re-establish news on Australian pages “in the next few days”, after the government agreed to change its historic media trading code, which would force the social network and Google to pay to display news content on their platforms.
In the past week, Facebook blocked all news on its website in Australia. It inadvertently blocked government information and pages, including health and emergency services in the midst of a pandemic.
The news ban turned into “a boomerang” against the North American company. The attitude was seen by the countries of the world as a threat and an intimidation against those who will try to regulate them. An intimidation, where the giants of the network wanted to be stronger and more immune than the states themselves and their democratic institutions.
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher announced Tuesday that had reached “a compromise at the eleventh hour ”while the legislation was debated in the Senate.
The changes mean that the government cannot apply the code to Facebook, if the company can demonstrate that you have signed enough deals with the media to pay them for content. The government also agreed that Facebook and other platforms, which would be subject to the code, would receive a compliance notice one month in advance.
So far Facebook refused to establish agreements of content with the media. He only considered it a possibility, when Australian Prime Minister Morrison announced that “Australia will not allow privacy.” France, Great Britain, Canada and the EU acceded.
Facebook Australian Managing Director Will Easton confirmed that the news would be reset on Facebook’s Australian news sources “in the coming days” , following the agreement with the government on the code change.
“We are pleased to have been able to reach an agreement with the Australian government. We appreciate the constructive discussions we have had with Treasurer Frydenberg and Minister Fletcher over the past week,” Facebook said.
“After further discussion, we are satisfied that the Australian government has accepted a series of changes and guarantees, that address our main concerns about allowing commercial agreements, that recognize the value that our platform provides to publishers, in relation to the value we receive from them “m assured.
Facebook did not accept these types of commercial agreements, that Google had already signed, who had abandoned him on the way and agreed with 50 outlets, including Rupert Murdoch’s News International empire. Now he has been forced to do so.
“In the future, the government has clarified that we will retain the capacity to decide whether the news appears on Facebook, so that we are not automatically subjected to forced negotiation, “said Campbell Brown, global vice president of the company’s partnerships.
News publishers don’t expect to get similar deals with the changes. Which means that smaller publishers could get more per article, without larger publishers being able to activate non-differentiation clauses in legislation to demand a better deal.
“It is important to note that the amendments will strengthen the hand of regional and small publishers to obtain adequate remuneration for the use of its content by digital platforms, ”said Frydenberg.
Frydenberg assured that Facebook it was “quite advanced” in negotiating agreements with various media companies. He said that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had told him that the company had re-entered negotiations with the media, in a direct dialogue between himself and the CEO.
On Tuesday night, Seven West Media, owner of the Western Australian newspaper and Seven TV network, became the first Australian media company to sign a letter of intent to provide news content to Facebook. Details and value of the deal were not disclosed in the announcement.
Frydenberg said Australia had been a “battle of powers” for the rest of the world on the regulation of Google and Facebook.
“I have no doubt that many other countries are watching what is happening here in Australia, because of this groundbreaking code that the Morrison government is now following. So Facebook and Google have not hidden the fact that they know that the eyes of the world are on Australia, and that is why they have sought to obtain a code here that is viable, “he said.
Nine Entertainment, Australia’s largest locally owned media company, welcomed the amendments and said it hoped to resume talks with Facebook on a trade deal. Nine had turned down all of Facebook’s offers because all bilateral deals between the two were voided. the media and Facebook if the media code became law.
The director of the Center for Responsible Technology at the Australian Institute, Peter Lewis, said at a glance that it appeared that the integrity of the code remained.
“This whole episode should give Australians pause to reflect on our over-reliance on Facebook to connect with each other,” Lewis said.