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15 Febbraio 2021

Australia

EU TO COPY AUSTRALIA’S LEAD ON MAKING BIG TECH PAY FOR NEWS

EU lawmakers overseeing new digital regulation in Europe want to force Big Tech companies to pay for news, echoing a similar move in Australia and strengthening the hand of publishers against Google and Facebook. The initiative from members of the European Parliament would be a serious blow to Google, which has threatened to leave Australia in protest at a planned new law that would compel it to pay for news. Facebook has also warned it will stop users in Australia from sharing news if the legislation is passed in its current form. Lawmakers working on two landmark draft European digital regulations, the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA), told the Financial Times the laws could be amended as they pass through the EU Parliament to include aspects of the Australian reforms. These include the option of binding arbitration for licensing agreements and requiring tech companies to inform publishers about changes to how they rank news stories on their sites. Google and Facebook have stepped up their efforts to reach licensing deals for news in Europe since the EU overhauled its copyright laws in 2019. The changes give publishers the right to compensation for snippets of content that appear on online platforms. But some Members of the European Parliament say the regime remains too weak. While support is growing for Australia-style measures, MEPs are more divided over how best to introduce such reforms, and whether it is better to wait for the impact of the copyright overhaul to become clear. In the EU system, MEPs wield most influence in amending proposals by the commission, which must be agreed with EU member states to become law. Google recently reached licensing deals in France, in part because a court intervened to require it to negotiate with news publishers. Stephanie Yon Courtin, an MEP with the Renew group and a former adviser to the French competition authority, pointed to Google’s threats to pull out of Australia and recent negotiations in Europe as showing there still remained a need “to address imbalances”. Google, which has pledged to spend $1US billion ($1.3 billion) worldwide on licensing news over the next three years, said the EU copyright directive “aims at striking the right balance” between publishers and platforms. Facebook declined to comment. (ICE SYDNEY)


Fonte notizia: AFR 09.02.2021