Australia: New Law Demands Google, Facebook Pay For Use of News

New legislation in Australia would demand that Google and Facebook negotiate payments with local publishers for content that they include in news feeds or search results.

“Coupled with the unmanageable financial and operational risk if this version of the Code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” Mel Silva, Google’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said at a hearing of Australia’s Senate committee.

Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Ministers says Government “Won’t respond to threats.” (video)

Immediate was the reaction of Australia’s Prime Minister calling Silva’s statement a threat. “Australia makes our rules for things you can do to work in Australia. It’s done in our Parliament, it’s done by our government, and that’s how things work here in Australia. People who want to work with that in Australia, you’re very welcome. But we don’t respond to threats,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters.

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The new legislation was a result of an investigation that found that Google and Facebook held too much market power in the media industry. The report called the current situation a “threat to a well-functioning democracy.”

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