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Australia Canada backs Australia Google standoff as politician calls Morrison

19:27  06 february  2021
19:27  06 february  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Scott Morrison, Justin Trudeau are posing for a picture: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Canada has supported Australia's standoff with tech giant Google over paying for news content - after the search engine's global chief video-called Scott Morrison this week backing away from the company's threat leave Australia.

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault is leading a similar push from his government and has previously tweeted Canada 'stands in solidarity with our Australian partners ... to introduce a more equitable digital framework'.

On Thursday and Friday more than 100 news websites across Canada displayed blank pages in protest at Google and Facebook's reluctance to pay media publishers for content appearing in search results.

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This week the global chiefs of Google, Sundar Pichai, and of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, both personally called Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Google had previously threatened to remove the search bar from Australia - worth $4.8billion in revenue for the company - if the media code was passed by parliament.

Morrison said after the call with Mr Pichai that both parties were in 'a much more positive space about [Google's] ability to continue to provide services here in Australia.'

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In a stunning move that may have prompted Google's backtrack, a day earlier Microsoft publicly announced they would support a media code and invest in their search engine Bing to fill the gap should Google leave Australia.

The Australian government is considering legislating mandatory arbitration between tech giants and news publishers who cannot reach a commercial agreement - requiring each party to accept an offer deemed appropriate by the arbitrator.


Video: Google needs 'to come to terms' with media barging code because there’s ‘no way out’ (Sky News Australia)

Google claims the precedent this will set by requiring the trillion dollar company to pay for news content appearing in search results presents an existential threat to their business model.

The draft legislation currently only applies to Google and Facebook, however, other tech companies could be added later - with Microsoft saying they would have no problem being included.

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a group of people sitting at a desk: Scott Morrison (right) is pictured sitting next to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (left) and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher (behind)  on Thursday as they speak to Sundar Pichai © Provided by Daily Mail Scott Morrison (right) is pictured sitting next to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (left) and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher (behind)  on Thursday as they speak to Sundar Pichai graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message: Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault earlier tweeted that Canada would © Provided by Daily Mail Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault earlier tweeted that Canada would

On Thursday Mr Guilbeault issued a statement saying Canada was closely watching how the situation between the Australian government, Google and Facebook played out.

'Our position is clear: publishers must be adequately compensated for their work and we will support them as they deliver essential information for the benefit of our democracy and the health and well-being of our communities,' he said.

'We must address the market imbalance between news media organizations and those who benefit from their work.'

Industry agency News Media Canada also warned in an open letter, penned by president John Hinds, to Canadian parliament that legitimate news organisations must be supported to counter the growing amount of fake news and conspiracy theories online.

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'These massive American companies get virtually all of the revenue and don't pay for content,' he said.

'Movie content doesn't work that way in Canada. Music content doesn't work that way. TV show content doesn't work that way. So why is news content treated differently?'

a screen shot of a woman: Mel Silva, the Managing Director of Google Australia and New Zealand, said the company may be forced to pull its search function out of Australia if the code goes ahead © Provided by Daily Mail Mel Silva, the Managing Director of Google Australia and New Zealand, said the company may be forced to pull its search function out of Australia if the code goes ahead

On Friday, Google launched their News Showcase product - their solution to the dispute - with news organisations curating content to be featured on the service.

Google would then pay directly for this content, often found behind paywalls, to be able to display to search engine users - and have allocated a $1.3billion global budget for their service over three years.

Google has already reached deals with more than 450 publications globally.

The Australian government has said their preferred option would be for Google, Facebook and publishers to reach their own agreements with the legislation acting as a safety net.

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Google search departure could devastate Australian small businesses, owners say .
Small businesses are worried about tech giant Google pulling its search engine from Australia. "The impact on my business would be devastating, as well as [for] thousands of other small businesses in Australia," Mr Sali told ABC News.Google is well and truly the dominant player in Australia's online advertising market.According to research firm IBISWorld, Google has more than 40 per cent share of the $9.7 billion industry.It's followed by REA Group with a 7.9 per cent share, and Facebook at 7.4 per cent share.Mr Sali runs a Melbourne-based business called The Headshot Guy.

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