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Despite Blackout By Facebook, No Change In New Law To Be Made By Australia

Despite Blackout By Facebook, No Change In New Law To Be Made By Australia
Despite the recent blackout of news for Australian users by the social media giant Facebook in protest against a proposed new content law in the country, the Australian government has said that it will not make any changes to the proposed laws.
If the new regulation is passed and implemented, it will essentially force tech giants such as Facebook and Alphabet owned Google to pay Australian news outlets for their news content on the tech platforms.
The new law mandates that the two tech companies should strike commercial agreements with news companies of Australia for using and sharing of their news and other content or face forced arbitration in this matter.
A senior Australian lawmaker reiterated the government’s stand on the issue on Monday despite opposition from Google and Facebook. 
In addition to blacking out news content on its platform, Facebook last week had also removed or made invalid a number of accounts of state governments and emergency department.
Over the weekend, the issue was continued to be discussed between Australian leaders and the social media giant.
Australia will not bring in any changes or amendments to the proposed law, Australia's most senior lawmaker in the upper house said even as the bill is scheduled to be debated in the Senate on Monday.
"The bill as it stands ... meets the right balance," Simon Birmingham, Australia's Minister for Finance, told Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio.
In its present form, the new news content related regulation also ensures "Australian-generated news content by Australian-generated news organisations can and should be paid for and done so in a fair and legitimate way".
If the new rule is passed in Australia, the right to appoint an arbitrator who would be tasked with setting content licencing fees in the case of failure of private negotiations would be granted to the government.
Even though both Facebook and Google have jointly campaigned to protest the proposed laws, commercial agreements with top Australian outlets, which includes a global deal with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, was inked with Google last week.
"There's no reason Facebook can't do and achieve what Google already has," Birmingham added.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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