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Australia to amend laws to make Google and Facebook pay

February 17, 2021 10:48 am
[Source: The Associated Press]

Australia’s government said it will amend draft laws that would make Google and Facebook pay for news.

This is to clarify that publishers would be paid in lump sums rather than per click on news article links.

The legislative changes described in a government statement as “clarifications and technical amendments” follow Australian ministers’ weekend discussions with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Alphabet Inc. and it’s subsidiary Google.

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The conservative government hopes to enact the so-called News Media Bargaining Code before the current session of Parliament ends on Feb. 25.

The amendments to be introduced to Parliament on Wednesday “improve the workability of the code while retaining its overall effect,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a joint statement.

The opposition centre-left Labor Party agreed at a meeting of lawmakers on Tuesday to support the bill, guaranteeing its passage through the Senate where the government does not hold a majority of seats. But the government might have to compromise with further Senate amendments.

Australia Institute’s Center for Responsible Technology, a think-tank that supports the proposed world-first legislation, accepted the proposed changes.

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