Government and Technology Institute
Controversy over free articles: Australia gives way to Facebook
The Australian Government and the American Institute of Technology have reached a compromise on the controversy over a new media law. Facebook users can quickly re-read messages.
Millions of Australian Facebook users have been frustrated for days: whenever they want to share a link to a post from an Australian media outlet, Facebook says, “Sorry, I can’t!” Humanitarian organizations, emergency services and even sports sites were initially affected by the siege. With this move, Facebook is showing its dissatisfaction with the planned media law. The reform would require sites such as Facebook and Google to give a portion of their advertising revenue to media companies that share articles, videos and images.
Now the Australian government is succumbing to growing public pressure. He made changes to the bill in recognition of Facebook’s “significant contribution” to the Australian media scene. Legislative changes give Facebook greater influence in negotiations with publishers about compensation for shared content.
Treasury Secretary Josh Friedenberg said Tuesday that the amended law would allow both sides to settle on a business basis. “Facebook and Australia are friends again,” Friedenberg said. Facebook also said in a statement that “it is gratifying that the Australian government has approved a number of changes and guarantees.”
Last week, Google already signed distribution agreements with several Australian media companies, thus adopting a more compliant position than Facebook. But Facebook’s denial ultimately paid off for the social network. By blocking, Facebook showed government, users and the media how important its function as a distributor of news links is – not just in Australia. The amended law has not yet been passed in the Senate. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is said to have confirmed to Xer Friedenberg’s boss that the possibility of a merger will be restored in the next few days.
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