Australia, after a tussle with Facebook and Google, has now passed a new law that requires both the tech giants to pay news publishers money for the news being taken by them. Also Read - Facebook's ad delivery system shows gender bias: Study
The new law has been said to come into place for some time now and has faced immense opposition from both Facebook and Google. However, what is it all about and what impact can it make on India? Here’s a look at the important details on the new Australian law. Also Read - Google workers ask Alphabet CEO to stop protecting harassers
Google, Facebook will now pay for news publications
With the new law, called the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code in place, Facebook and Google will pay a negotiated amount of money to media houses and news publishers when their news is being used by both the platforms on their feeds. Also Read - DuckDuckGo asks people to block Google's new tracking method
For this, there will be a licensing agreement too and the presence of an arbitration body if the negotiation between both the tech giants and the news outlets don’t take place cordially. Google and Facebook will also be required to update the publishers with their changing algorithms for them to generate content accordingly.
This, as per the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), will look into the “significant bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and Google and Facebook.”
How does this affect news publication?
The new Australian law would mean fruitful for all the news agencies there, for they can get money for the content they are generating. It will be like how media houses pay a subscription fee to news agencies (such as IANS or PTI) when they pick up stories from them.
This way, they can a monetary boost, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic when various media organisations struggled in Australia and eventually laid off their employees and even shut their operations. This also comes after the ACCC enquiry, which proved that Google and Facebook are earning a lot of ad revenue, whose credit also goes to the news outlets.
However, it can impact Facebook and Google (and possibly other platforms in the future) who will now have to take out a share from the revenue they are earning and forcibly pay for news, which previously was free of cost. The presence of an arbitration process can also ruin things for them as they will have to comply with it even when it could be deemed unfair to Google and Facebook.
For those who don’t know, the law has been previously opposed fiercely by both Facebook and Google. Google proposed to withdraw its presence in Australia and Facebook stopped people and publishers from sharing news pieces, as per a report by The Verge.
What does this Australian law mean for India?
While currently Facebook and Google are safe in India, there are chances a similar law can be adapted in India too, given that the country is on the path of changing how social media, messaging apps, and OTT platforms work over here.
If more and more countries will be inspired by Australia, India might also be the one to hop onto the bandwagon.
As a reminder, new IT laws have just been announced by the Indian Government, which aims for social media, OTT platform regulation to keep people safe on these platforms.