The tone between Google and Australia is rising. The Mountain View giant has threatened to pull its search engine out of the country if the bill forcing it to pay the media fails, our colleagues reported The edge.
A bill to save Australian media
Currently, Google and Facebook are distributing press articles for free on their platforms and keeping any advertising revenue they generate to themselves. An unsustainable system for the Australian media, which is in an unprecedented crisis, and equally unbearable for their government, which is trying to correct this situation by creating a new legal framework.
A premiere in the USA: Augmented Reality for knee operations
Last July, for example, the country presented a new code of conduct intended to force Google and Facebook to pay the media. If it were accepted The two giants would be forced to share the proceeds from the press articlesOtherwise they would face high financial penalties. What’s more, they should too Share upcoming changes to your algorithms Distribution of content in streams of users.
A message to which Google quickly responded with an open letter addressed directly to Australian citizens. In it, the Mountain View giant stated in particular that it would give a code of conduct an unfair advantage to the media compared to other companies he would present a risk to the protection of private data User, and that affect the quality of some of its serviceslike his search engine or even YouTube. The company ended up making the promise “Do everything possible to change this proposal”.
Google doesn’t hear it that way
Something promised, something due. Speaking to the Australian Senate Economic Committee, Mel Silva, Vice President of Google Australia and New Zealand, announced: “If this version of the code became law, we would have no choice but to suspend Google searches in Australia. After a thorough review of the legislation, we concluded that we do not see how we can continue to provide service in Australia with such financial and operational risks. “.
In addition, Google believes that this Code of Conduct “Would set an unsustainable precedent for our business and the digital economy” and that’s it “Incompatible with how search engines work”. A point of view that the famous computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee seems to share. At that hearing, too, the creator of the World Wide Web (WWW) heard that “This law may violate a fundamental principle of the web by requiring payment for the creation of links between certain online content.”.
In the face of these statements, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison reacted quickly with the words “Don’t bow down to threats”before adding: “Australia sets the rules for what can be done in Australia. It is our parliament that decides. And that’s how it goes here in Australia. “. The message has the advantage of being clear: The Australian government does not intend to bow to the threats from Mountain View Giants.
If the situation seems irreparably blocked, Mel Silva is still hoping adjustments can be made before he can carry out his threats: “There is a clear path to developing a fair code to work with if we only make small changes.”. Would Australia be ready to hear and accept concessions in this direction? Hard to say.
Waiting, Things are going much better in France because after long months of conflict an agreement between Google and the editors about neighboring rights was finally found. Specifically, this means that the French media should soon be paid by the Mountain View giant.