Google threatens to close its search engine in Australia as it lobbies against digital news code – TechCrunch

Google has threatened to shut down its search engine in Australia – as it has written its lobbying against draft legislation, which aims to force news publishers to pay for the reuse of their content.

Facebook will also be subject to the law. And Where is the first If this law were brought, it would ban news from being shared on its products, as well as claim that its investment in the country has been reduced as a result of a legislative threat.

“The principle of unrestricted linking between websites is fundamental to search. If this version of the code, coupled with unbearable financial and operational risks, would have become law it would have given us no real choice, but Google would have stopped making search available in Australia, “Google Warned today.

last August The tech giant took another pot-shot at the proposal, warning that the quality of its products in the country could be harmed and the government could move ahead with a push to share advertising revenue with media businesses.

Since last summer Google has changed the deal to lobbying – apparently abandoning its attempt to completely derail the law in favor of an effort to re-implement it to minimize financial impact.

Its latest bitings focus on trying to exclude the most damaging elements of the draft law (as it sees it) – moreover News showcase programWho is this Accelerated last yearAs an alternative model for payment to publishers, it would prefer that the vehicle be made for remittance under the code.

The draft legislation for Australia’s digital news code, which is currently before Parliament, includes a controversial requirement in which tech giants, Google and Facebook, pay publishers to link to their content – not just snippets of text To display.

Yet Google has warned Australia of how the Internet would work by paying for “links and snippets”.

In Statement Today, the Senate Economics Committee said its VP for Australia and New Zealand, Mel Silva: “This provision in the Code will set an indirect precedent for our business and the digital economy. It is not compatible with how search engines work. Do, or how the Internet works, and it is not just Google’s approach – it is cited in many submissions received by this inquiry.

“The principle of unrestricted linking between websites is fundamental to search. If this version of the code, coupled with unbearable financial and operational risks, would have become law it would have been no real choice to prevent us from providing Google search in Australia.

Google is certainly not alone in crying foul over a proposal requiring payments Link.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is the inventor of the World Wide Web Warn That draft law “risks violating a fundamental principle of the web by requiring the committee to pay for linking between certain content online”, among other concerned submissions to the committee.

In written testimony he goes:

“Before search engines took effect on the web, linking from one page to another was the only way to find content. Search engines make that process more effective, but they can only do so using the web’s link structure as their key input. Therefore links are fundamental to the web.

“As I understand it, the proposed code requires selected digital platforms to interact and possibly pay to create links to news content from a particular group of news providers.

“The need for a charge for links on the web is an important aspect of the value of web content. To my knowledge, there is no current example of legally requiring payment for links to other content. The ability to link freely – without limitations on the content of the linked site without meaning and without monetary fees – is fundamental to how the web operates, how it has evolved to the present, and How it will continue to grow in the coming decades. “

However it is notable that the snippet is not mentioned in Berners-Lee’s presentation. Not even once. It is all about the links.

Meanwhile google has Reached an agreement with publishers in France – which ones They say Payment for snippets of content is included.

In the European Union, the tech giant is already subject to the reformed copyright directive, which has extended a neighbor’s right to cover the reuse of snippets of text for news content. However directs No Cover link or “very few extracts”.

In France, Google says that it is only paying for “beyond the link and very few extracts” content. But it has not said anything about the snippet in that context.

French publishers clearly argue EU law Does Covering not-short text snippets commonly shown by Google in its news aggregator – stating that the directive states that the exception should not be interpreted in a way that affects the effectiveness of neighboring rights . If it seems that Google tries to refuse payment for snippets then it will have a major French fight in its hands.

But there is still everything to play for in Australia. So, below, Google is trying to explain that there are actually two separate and distinct issues (pay for links (pay for snippets vs. pay for) – in hopes of reducing the financial impact that previously Has been baked into EU law. (Although it has only been actively implemented so far in France, surpassing other EU countries in transferring the directive into national law).

In Australia, Google is also pushing for the code to be “named news showcase” (aka the program that started once when legal writing was on the wall about publishers’ payments) – lobbying for it could be the vehicle To enable Australian news publishers to pay for the price “to reach commercial agreements”.

Of course a commercial negotiation process is preferable (and familiar) to tech giants, who are bound by the code’s proposed “final proposal arbitration model” – which attacks Google as a “biased norm”, and that claim Does that it is “unbearable financial and operational”. Risk “.

“If it is replaced with standard commercial arbitration based on comparable deals, it will encourage good faith negotiations and ensure that we are accountable for stronger dispute resolution,” Silva also argues.

A third provision is that tech giants actually move away from the current draft, requiring publishers to be notified before changes to its algorithms that may affect how their content is discovered.

“It suggests that the algorithm notification provision be adjusted to require only reasonable notice of significant actionable changes to Google’s algorithm to ensure that publishers are able to react to those changes, “It suggests that.

It’s certainly interesting how, in a few years, Google’s position has expanded beyond the ‘we’ll never pay for news’ – any relevant legislation -‘ please give us licensing news through our proprietary licensing program Pay for ‘once. The European Union has now passed a directive Actively applied in France (With him Contest law help) And is moving towards enacting a similar law with Australia.

Changing the laws can be a real tech giant mind-changer.

Of course the idea of ​​paying anyone to link to online content is clearly a terrible idea – and should be abandoned.

But if bitcoin of that draft is a strategy negotiated by Australian lawmakers, then Google has to accept that it will have to pay the payers something Then it appears to be a winning one.

And while Google’s threat to shut down its search engine may seem ‘full on’, as Silva suggested, when you consider how many alternative search engines exist, this threat was hardly once.

Especially as a lot of Alternative search engine There are many Less abusive towards users’ privacy.