Australia is not going to make any amendments to the proposed media legislation though tech giants – Google and Facebook have protested against the new law, a senior lawmaker confirmed on Monday, February 22.
In response to the proposed law, Facebook announced a news ban in Australia disabling news content viewing and sharing last Wednesday, February 17. Along with news content, the tech company had also blocked official health pages, emergency sites and other government accounts.
The new legislation was passed by the lower house of parliament on February 17. The Senate is most likely to pass it on Monday (Feb. 22).
The new law forces social media such as Facebook and Google to pay news publishers for using their news contents. Social media companies can negotiate with the publishers to make their deals but if the negotiation doesn’t happen, the government will arrange the licensing fees agreement option.
Simon Birmingham, Australia’s Minister for Finance, said, “The Bill as it stands … meets the right balance,” speaking to Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio.
“There’s no reason Facebook can’t do and achieve what Google already has,” he added.
Though initially, Google had protested against the new proposed law, it later signed a deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to get access to the contents published by major news outlets in Australia.