Google announces to suspend providing services!
It was a controversial subject when Google revealed that it would suspend its search engine service in Australia if the Australian Government insists on demanding Google to pay the content fee to the news publishers for those content that Google displays in search results when requested by users.
The Australian Government’s reason behind enacting the News Media Bargaining Code came after a government investigation. The investigation indicated that social networks such as Google and Facebook have overpowered the media industry’s marketplace. The Code requires platform owners to pay the publishers, who are the content owners, every time a link or a part of the news is featured on the platform. Mel Silva, Managing Director of Google for Australia and New Zealand, made an opening statement at a public hearing of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee in reviewing a draft of the News Media Bargaining Code. She stated that the Code is not appropriate for the operation of a search engine or the Internet. This is because providing a searching service requires connecting users to websites without restriction. Further to this, if the Code is enforced, Google may have no choice but to stop providing Google Search in Australia.
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison immediately responded to the statement that Australia will not respond to Google’s threats and insist that the Australian Council and Government continue to implement the Code for its internal affair. This movement has put Australia as a leading country on the global stage in dealing with U.S. tech giants on their influent in the media.
Nevertheless, “Google is still against the Australian Government plan as the Code will render Google to have less control over the payment amount. The Australian Government also required that when the content companies cannot negotiate on news rates for the web hosting and newspaper publishers, the arbitral tribunal will decide on the payment for all parties. Although Google is willing to compensate publishers, however, the payment will not be made under the Australian Government conditions that demand Google to pay for links and snippets in Search”.
Mel Silva also added that the Code offers “a biased arbitration model”, putting Google at operational and financial risks. Further in her statement, Mel Silva also suggests the revision of the Code in three main areas;
1. The Code may allow for News Showcase’s operation, which is a licensing program developed by Google. The program will allow the negotiation with the news publishers in business deals to supply Google services with featured news. Simultaneously, Google also pays for the licensing fees to access their articles.
2.The revision of civil dispute resolution proceeding from only publisher side’s consideration
3. The revision that instead of the requirement that Google has to give 14-day prior notice of all algorithm changes to publishers, Google will only have to notify a significant alteration of algorithm instead.
Google has given their eight reasonings for opposing the News Media Bargaining Code’s draft in detail on their blog. Indeed, that this Code will create quite a complication for Google. The question still remains whether the actions of Google that the Australian Government perceived to be a threat is effective or not, or whether the Australian Government will yield to Google. You can follow any updates on this matter at www.thac.or.th.