The treasurer of Australia has a mandated code of conduct for big tech giants like Facebook and Google to pay Australian Media Companies for referring and using their content. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been drafting a voluntary code of conduct and told the Australian Government that it is not favorable to get a voluntary contract or treaty around the payment-issue.
The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) was formulating the code as part of a series of recommendations from one of its 2019 digital platform inquiries. The report revealed the fact that Facebook and Google are taking a large fraction of online advertising revenues. And, much of their content directly comes from media organizations. Australian Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, also confirmed the same.
“It’s only fair that those that generate content get paid for it,” Frydenberg added.
Australian media outlets and newspapers’ agencies, that have set up in the US or Italy, have been dreadly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has welcomed the major economic downturn for such agencies. Due to the sharp decline in advertising revenues, many companies are following pay cut strategies or have stopped/halted their operations.
The draft is to be finalized by the end of July. Will Easton, Managing Director of Facebook Australia & New Zealand, exhibited his disappointment in one of the interviews and said that Facebook has been investing million dollars to furnish support to Australian Publishers through partnerships, training sessions, and content arrangements.“We believe that strong innovation and more transparency around the distribution of news content is critical to building a sustainable news ecosystem.” Easton added,
One of Google’s spokesperson also confronted in an email that the company has been working since February’20 with more than 25 Australian Publishers for their inputs on ACCC’S voluntary code of conduct.
COVID-19 has distorted many businesses and several industries across Australia. And media agencies have been hit by this pandemic the most. This is a way to battle against unwanted forthcoming situations and to welcome a global source of investment to support news and media organizations during these unprecedented times.
While the two organizations are still worrying about this major step taken by the Australian Government, many renowned authors/publishers are supporting this initiative on Twitter.
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