Microsoft on Thursday lobbied other countries to follow Australia’s call to pay for news reports published online, a move that was opposed by Facebook and Google.
Microsoft proposed last week that if rival Google (Google) continues to threaten to shut down its Australian search engine plan, Microsoft will fill the gap.
Microsoft President Brad Smith (Brad Smith) said in a statement that the company fully supports Australia’s proposed legislation that will force Google and Facebook to compensate for media reports.
Smith said in his blog: “This has caused an unusual division in the field of technology. We heard someone ask whether Microsoft will support similar proposals in the United States, Canada, the European Union and other countries.”
“The short answer is yes.”
If the rules that have now become parliamentary laws become written laws, both Facebook and Google threaten to block key services in Australia.
This situation raises the question of whether US President Joe Biden will evade his predecessor’s opposition to the Australian proposal.
Smith said: “As the United States assesses the events of January 6, it is time to expand the scope of discussion,” referring to the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by a group of Trump supporters to overthrow the election results.
“The final question is the value we want the technical department and independent news service to have.”
Smith argued that Internet platforms that previously did not pay news agencies should now step up the revival of independent journalism that “walks into the heart of our democracy and freedom.”
Smith said: “The United States should not oppose an Australian creative proposal that strengthens democracy by requiring technology companies to support press freedom.”
“It should copy it.”
Is the mutiny bigger?
The proposed Australian law will govern the relationship between financially troubled traditional media and the giants that dominate the Internet, and will account for a large share of advertising revenue.
The Washington state-based technology giant said that Microsoft’s search engine Bing has less than 5% market share in Australia and 15% to 20% in the US.
Smith said: “With the realistic prospects of obtaining usage shares, we are confident that we can build the services Australians want and need.”
“Unlike Google, if we can develop, we are prepared to sign new legal obligations, including the proposed revenue sharing with news organizations.”
According to the proposed “News Media Bargaining Law”, Google and Facebook will be required to negotiate to pay various news organizations for the use of their content on the platform.
Australia’s largest media company Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and Nine Entertainment have stated that they believe the annual compensation should reach hundreds of millions of dollars.
If an agreement cannot be reached on the payment amount, the so-called “final offer” arbitration will be conducted, in which both parties propose the compensation amount and the arbitrator chooses one of the parties.
With the support of the US government and leading Internet architects, Google and Facebook said that the plan would severely disrupt their business models and the normal operation of the Internet.
Both Facebook and Google insist that they are willing to pay publishers for news through licensing agreements and commercial negotiations, and both have signed deals worth millions of dollars with news organizations around the world.
Google has stated that the negotiation code should focus on facilitating such negotiations, but it rejected the idea of mandatory “final offer” arbitration.
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