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Google threatens to pull out of Australia over new "link tax" laws

Australia is currently trying to pass a new law and become the first country to force tech giants into paying royalties for news articles their services link to.

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Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia over the nation's attempt to make the tech giant share royalties with news publishers.

 

Australia is introducing a world-first law to make Google, Facebook and potentially other tech companies pay media outlets for their news content.

However Google are claiming the laws are unworkable and if passed would force them into partially withdrawing from the region, effectively blocking Aussies from accessing Google search.

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But the US firms have fought back, warning the law would make them withdraw some of their services.

 

Australian PM Scott Morrison said lawmakers would not yield to "threats".

 

Though Australia is far from Google's largest market, the proposed news code is seen as a possible global test case for how governments could seek to regulate big tech firms.

 

Australia's code would tie Google and Facebook to mediated negotiations with publishers over the value of news content, if no agreement could be reached first.

 

Google Australia managing director Mel Silva told a Senate hearing on Friday that the laws were "unworkable".

 

"If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia," she said.

In a dangerous bit of foreshadowing, a Senator then said that Australia are pioneering new legislation that will be eventually adopted worldwide. Effectively the end of a free internet.

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But lawmakers challenged this, accusing Google of "blackmail" and bullying Australia for raising the reform.

 

"It's going to go worldwide. Are you going to pull out of every market, are you? Is this about stopping the precedence?" asked Senator Rex Patrick.

 

Ms Silva replied that the code was "an untenable risk for our Australian operations".

 

Mr Morrison said his government remained committed to progressing the laws through parliament this year.

 

"Let me be clear: Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That's done in our parliament," he told reporters on Friday

Source - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-55760673

 

When will these fools learn? If they start trying to protect their own interests by forcing internet companies into paying others for content then said companies will just withdraw from the market entirely, Google and co make MORE than enough money from other things to survive no matter what.

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So laws are going to force Google facebook etc, to pay for articles that are written about them?
is it just me or does this really sound retarded.

making a company pay for something they didn't ask to be written.

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6 minutes ago, Letgomyleghoe said:

So laws are going to force Google facebook etc, to pay for articles that are written about them?
is it just me or does this really sound retarded.

making a company pay for something they didn't ask to be written.

Nah, what it means is that, if Google were to provide a user with a link and a summary of a news article written by Bloomberg then Google will need to pay a fee to Bloomberg (Bloomberg is just the first example I though of, replace it with any News outlet you want).

 

The implications of this are much wider than it seems on the surface though, this very section of this very forum might not be able to exist without LMG being on the line for royalty payments to every news article we link to here.

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21 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

Australia is currently trying to pass a new law and become the first country to force tech giants into paying royalties for news articles their services link to

The first country? Hardly. See e.g. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/link-tax-experiences-germany-spain-article-11-ec-proposal-tani

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1 minute ago, Master Disaster said:

Nah, what it means is that, if Google were to provide a user with a link and a summary of a news article written by Bloomberg then Google will need to pay a fee to Bloomberg (Bloomberg is just the first example I though of, replace it with any News outlet you want).

 

The implications of this are much wider than it seems on the surface though, this very section of this very forum might not be able to exist with LMG being on the line for royalty payments to every news article we link to here.

this seems equally as bad, that basically makes every search engine soon to be dead.

IG free advertising now comes with free income along with it.

this is why we need people in office making cyber laws who spend enough time online, and have a bit of decent sense to realize that this is a very very bad idea.

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4 minutes ago, Letgomyleghoe said:

this is why we need people in office making cyber laws who spend enough time online

The US does have some, but they're all Twitter users. 🙃

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I lost Google News because of link tax in EU, which I got back after switching to US in my phone settings, it doesn't seem world-first, but maybe it is much more severe version of the same bullshit. Google is trying to influence them, that's true, but first thing first they should really think hard about what they're trying to achieve.
Last time I saw it, the argument was seeing bits of articles on Google News meant the news sites get less traffic, because people can get what's in the article from the short bit, and thus whoever shows parts of it in link preview should pay for the privilege, IMO that's crap, a good article has enough info that reading the opening part will make me want to open it, using Google News I always open what I am interested in, the news sites are getting less traffic because their content is less interesting in the face of memes, especially when they write 300 words reiterating the same things that I already know... from memes.

 

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The government has argued that because the tech platforms gain customers from people who want to read the news, the tech giants should pay newsrooms a "fair" amount for their journalism.

Should Google Maps pay me when my friend uses it to get to my house? Because that's what Google does, it's role is providing search results, the news outlet benefits from being found on Google, it loses nothing.

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Google, by contrast, has been performing well. Last year the social media giant made almost $4bn from Australia, while paying $45m in tax.

This is a problem, but they made it possible to somehow pay ~1% tax for ad contracts, instead of adding bullshit taxes they should make sure Google pays normal rates in full.

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Yes, please google, let's gooooo (home)! 

 

I hope they do it. 

 

1 hour ago, jagdtigger said:

Sounds pretty retarded to me.... (I mean the link tax)

I agree sounds stupid but a small price to pay to get rid of the tyranny that is google, I suppose. 🤷🏼

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That is retarded.

How are they supposed to maintain that. That technically means I can start a random wix site based on news and if people click on it I get money? It makes no sense.

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What is the reason for this legislation? That article makers aren't getting enough money? It seems like a dumb attempt to break things that were never broken to begin with

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It amazes me that it's 2021 and media organisations still don't know how the internet works or how to monetise it without putting it behind a paywall or filling the entire page/article with "from the web" type clickbait ads.

 

Spoiler

If you don't know what sort of ads I'm talking about it's this garbage that appears on every news page

 

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43 minutes ago, RedRound2 said:

What is the reason for this legislation? That article makers aren't getting enough money? It seems like a dumb attempt to break things that were never broken to begin with

As far as I can tell, Big Media are lobbying for this cos they're not happy with advertising revenues from putting ADs on their website. They're claiming it's not enough money for them so they want to make more money.

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3 minutes ago, AluminiumTech said:

As far as I can tell, Big Media are lobbying for this cos they're not happy with advertising revenues from putting ADs on their website. They're claiming it's not enough money for them so they want to make more money.

And instead the advertising platforms will simply withdraw from the market then they will lose all their ad revenue and also will no longer maintain a presence on the biggest search engines and news aggregating websites.

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I don't know, about 80% of me wants it to happen just to see what unfolds. Only proper way I see to see whos claims about how bad and unworkable or the opposite are true. Just anyone but my country lol.

 

I doubt it's as unworkable as Google wants to make out but it's also likely actually very complex, but sure enough Google doesn't want to do it. Will it actually fix anything, probably not 🤷‍♂️. Still is a fair criticism for what Google actually does in terms of data trawling/harvesting and tailored gatekeeping, if your business isn't 'Google friendly' then you're pretty much doomed now days.

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18 minutes ago, leadeater said:

I don't know, about 80% of me wants it to happen just to see what unfolds. Only proper way I see to see whos claims about how bad and unworkable or the opposite are true. Just anyone but my country lol.

 

I doubt it's as unworkable as Google wants to make out but it's also likely actually very complex, but sure enough Google doesn't want to do it. Will it actually fix anything, probably not 🤷‍♂️. Still is a fair criticism for what Google actually does in terms of data trawling/harvesting and tailored gatekeeping, if your business isn't 'Google friendly' then you're pretty much doomed now days.

Interesting aside, how relevant are Australian laws to New Zealand? Would this affect you in any way?

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2 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

Interesting aside, how relevant are Australian laws to New Zealand? Would this affect you in any way?

No. They're completely different countries with their own laws. The only thing Australia and New Zealand have in common are they are both part of the Commonwealth.

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7 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

Interesting aside, how relevant are Australian laws to New Zealand? Would this affect you in any way?

Likely not, there's cross mixing when we each like something the other has done with each others own tweaks to suit but there is currently zero interest for such a law here.

 

Things we do share are things like AS/NZS Electrical Safety and Compliance.

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46 minutes ago, leadeater said:

I don't know, about 80% of me wants it to happen just to see what unfolds. Only proper way I see to see whos claims about how bad and unworkable or the opposite are true. Just anyone but my country lol.

 

I doubt it's as unworkable as Google wants to make out but it's also likely actually very complex, but sure enough Google doesn't want to do it. Will it actually fix anything, probably not 🤷‍♂️. Still is a fair criticism for what Google actually does in terms of data trawling/harvesting and tailored gatekeeping, if your business isn't 'Google friendly' then you're pretty much doomed now days.

Congrats on 17,000 posts!

 

Unless Im understanding something wrong, wouldn't it pan out as below

 

If google has to pay articles for linking them in their search engine, wouldn't they simply just remove it. And if that happens, is there even a point to search engine. We all will likely have to go directly to website and for the websites themselves, there will be 0 discoverability. Plus im sure some paid search engines would pop up, that allows us, consumers, to pay for having the privelege to search for things.

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3 minutes ago, RedRound2 said:

If google has to pay articles for linking them in their search engine, wouldn't they simply just remove it. And if that happens, is there even a point to search engine. We all will likely have to go directly to website and for the websites themselves, there will be 0 discoverability. Plus im sure some paid search engines would pop up, that allows us, consumers, to pay for haing the privelege to search for things.

Don't know, last time this came up I understood it only applied to the Google News service and only if Google were displaying a snippet of the article, so article title and link only I thought would be enough to get around it, plus I very much do not use Google News anyway and only use the actual Google Search.

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2 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Don't know, last time this came up I understood it only applied to the Google News service and only if Google were displaying a snippet of the article, so article title and link only I thought would be enough to get around it, plus I very much do not use Google News anyway and only use the actual Google Search.

But Google search also contains snippets of the website below. I doubt google would throw such an issue if it only affected Google News.

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1 hour ago, RedRound2 said:

But Google search also contains snippets of the website below. I doubt google would throw such an issue if it only affected Google News.

The difference is with Google Search you can control what is indexed and/or displayed in a search or completely disable it, I don't know if the same applies to Google News.

 

Quote

<meta name="robots" content="nosnippet" />

And with that only page title will be displayed in a search.

 

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/crawling/control-what-you-share

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/crawling/block-indexing

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/crawling/prevent-images-on-your-page

 

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7489871

 

Not sure, my level of give a crap about web design is low otherwise I would likely know more about the above or would have a deeper look. In any case it's either news companies not doing the above to protect their content or Google is not being so clean cut with the above and with services like Google News, I really don't know.

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Meh, if it makes less people rely on Google, it's a good thing. It's the first step on killing this giant.

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maybe if Google payed their proper dues  on their incomes the Aussie governement might have been more lenient???

'

i mean $59 million dollars in taxes on $4.8 billion revenues is a tad bit skewed......

 

considering the going rate when i last checked was somewhere around 25-30%

 

Parler maybe could open its own new servers there maybe... telegram perhaps!!

 

maybe some linux phones could finally make it here too??

 

 

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