Australia passes law that forces tech giants to pay for news

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Australia’s proposed law that will force tech giants such as Google and Facebook to pay to link to news content is ready to be enforced, according to a report on AP.

The country’s parliament passed the final amendments to the News Media Bargaining Code, which were agreed between Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook on Tuesday. The agreed amendments resulted in Facebook lifting its block on Australians sharing news content on its platform.

Rod Sims, the competition regulator who drafted the legislation, announced that he was pleased with the amendments to the bill.

“The purpose of the code is to address the market power that clearly Google and Facebook have,” said Sims. “Google and Facebook need media, but they don’t need any particular media company, and that meant media companies couldn’t do commercial deals.”

Long hard road for Australia’s new law

The New Media Code has caused quite a stir on its way to becoming law. Initially Google and Facebook were ardently resistant to the legislation. Google threatened to pull out of Australia altogether, but later relented and signed deals with local media giants worth millions of dollars.

Facebook, for its part, made good on its threat to block news on its platform, but later lifted the ban after the aforementioned amendments to the News Media Code were made.

All tech giants that link to news now have a month to get their houses in order before the law is enforced.

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