Press publishers right done right?
The Treasurer of Australia has ordered that country’s competition watchdog to create a code of conduct for Facebook and Google which would force the tech giants to pay Australian media companies for using their content, ABC News (AU) reports. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was working on developing a voluntary code of conduct, but told the Australian government it was “unlikely” to get a voluntary agreement around the issue of payment for content.
This comes a few days after the French competition authority has ordered Google to engage in good faith negotiations with French press publishers after Google had made it clear that it felt no obligation to pay publishers based on the new EU press publishers right.
Instead of creating a completely useless press publishers right Australia seems to plan to simply compel Facebook and Google to pay publishers for profiting from their content. At first glance this seems like a much better approach: No new right that publishers can excercise indiscriminately against anyone (except powerful intermediaries) and instead a targeted intervention aimed at dominant information aggregators. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Update: i wrote a longer piece about this for Shared Digital Europe