The multi-billion-dollar tech giant Google launched a platform on Friday in Australia which pays publishers for the news to show in the index. Google calls the legislation proposed by Canberra – where it has to enforce payments unnecessary and strikes its own deal with the publishers.
The motives of Google behind launching this platform is clear. It wants to show that the world-first legislation that was proposed by the Australian Federal Government to enforce payments is unnecessary.
The News Showcase platform was released previously only in Brazil and Germany. Although the platform was scheduled to be released last June, the tech giant- Google had to delay its idea because of the new proposed law. The proposed law required the tech giants Google and Facebook to pay Australian media publishers for the content.
However, Google commented that the legislation was “unworkable” and even threatened to pull out its services from Australia if the law was implemented.
Although the legislation is still under review at parliament, the launch of News Showcase in Australia on Friday will show that Google will pay seven domestic media outlets in Australia, to use their Contents.
One of the closed deals includes the popular Australian Community Media – Canberra Times. However, Google has denied spilling out the financial details whereas Canberra still remains silent.
Google plans to join hands with more Australian Publishers and strike an agreement with them. The other possible outlet can be publishers whose position has been backed up by Canberra’s aggressive push back against Facebook and Google.
The first global news provider to Google News Showcase is Reuters. Thomson Reuters Corp-owned media company – Reuters signed a deal with Google to claim its position as the first global news provider to Google News Showcase last month. Google still declined to give further confirmation when contacted by Reuters.
Google News Showcase can be an alternative to the model that was proposed by the Australian government- says Derek Wilding, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Media Transition.
Wilding adds – “What remains to be seen is if larger publishers sign on to the product.” If the larger publishers close deals with Google, then the Australian government has to rethink its new legislation.
The series of news events occurred when the Australian government proposed a bill that would force the tech giants Google and Facebook to pay Australian publishers and broadcasters for the content that was included in the search engine’s result or even in the news feeds as well. And if both Google and the publishers failed to strike a deal, a government-appointed arbitrator would decide the price.
Although Google was ready to pull out its services from Australia if the law was passed, Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Google’s approach was positive in recent private meetings.
On Friday, Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne that “ The Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) and myself and (Communications Minister) Paul Fletcher had a very constructive discussion with the head of Google just yesterday.”
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