Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Business https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Google threatens to close search in Australia

Google threatens to close search in Australia



At a Senate hearing in Canberra on Friday, Google (GOOGL) Australia’s CEO Mel Silva said the draft legislation was “still impossible” and would “break” the way millions of users searched for content online.
“If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no choice but to stop making Google search available in Australia,” she told lawmakers. “It would be a bad result not only for us but for the Australian people, media diversity and small businesses using Google search.”
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The company’s biggest concern with the proposal is that it “only requires payments for links and excerpts only for news results in search,” according to Silva.

“The free service we offer Australian users and our business model is built on the ability to link freely between sites,” she said.

Google and Facebook have been toying with publishers for years over how to display their content, media companies arguing that tech giants should pay them for the privilege. Critics of the two technology companies point out that since they dominate the online advertising business, it puts news publishers on a leash, leaving them crawling for leftovers.

The new legislation will allow certain media outlets to negotiate individually or collectively with Facebook and Google – and to enter into arbitration if the parties are unable to reach an agreement within three months, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. proposed legislation.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hit back at Google later on Friday.

“Let me be clear. Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. It is done in our Parliament. It is done by our government and that is how things work here in Australia and people who want to work with it in Australia, you’re very welcome, “he said at a press conference. “But we do not respond to threats.”

Asked about Morrison’s comments, Google declined to comment.

A warning about ‘consequences’

Both U.S. technology companies have been fiercely opposed to the code since its introduction last summer. Last August, Google used its website to warn Australians that the bill would hurt their ability to search and lead to “consequences” for YouTube users.
Google's clashes with Australian regulators are getting hotter

The US giant is now proposing three changes to the code, including how it will compensate news publishers.

One proposal is that the News Showcase – a program launched by Google last year that aims to pay publishers more than $ 1 billion over the next three years – should be formalized and expanded in Australia. The company already pays seven publishers in the country for content.

The company also wants to change a requirement that will force Google to notify publishers of changes to its algorithm, saying it should only do so “to ensure publishers are able to respond to changes that affect them. “

“There is a clear path to a fair and workable code,” Silva said. “Withdrawing our services from Australia is the last thing I or Google want to happen – especially when there is another way forward.”

An aggressive fight

Facebook (FB) also pushes back.

At the same Senate hearing on Friday, Simon Milner, Facebook’s vice president of public policy for Asia and the Pacific, said the company could eventually block news content in Australia, although he stressed a commitment to “make the law workable.”

Milner told lawmakers there was already a “deterrent effect of this law on investment in the Australian news industry”, citing a recent decision by Facebook to launch a news product in the UK instead of Australia.

“Sir Tim Berners-Lee said that this precedent created by this law could ‘make the network useless around the world,'” he added, referring to the inventor of the network.
Google agrees to pay French publishers for news

Regulators say legislation is needed to create a level playing field for news media in Australia, as newsrooms across the country have reduced service, closed temporarily or closed permanently.

Similar cases have emerged in other countries. On Thursday, Google announced that they would pay news publications in France for the use of their content online in a milestone agreement that could soon be replicated elsewhere in Europe under new copyright laws.

Hanna Ziady contributed to this report.


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