Google Australia publishes open letter on news bill


In recent months, the Australian government has prepared legislation to force Google (and Facebook) to pay local publishers for content that appears in Search and News. Tech companies have spoken out against the proposal, and Google is now appealing directly to its Australian users in an open letter.At the end of May, Google came up with a rebuttal that explains how its business works. Namely, how it doesn’t make money with the Google News app or showing news content in search. Rather, the company argues that it offers immense value to publications by linking to articles and providing an international audience, which generates click-throughs.

Today, Google users in Australia now see the following prompt with a link to an open letter:

The way Australians use Google is under threat

Your research experience will be affected by the new regulations

There are three main arguments in the open letter that oppose the “News Media Bargaining Code” as it stands today.

Google says it would be forced to give news media companies an unfair advantage, making search and YouTube results “worse for you.” It involves providing “a group” with “information that would help them artificially inflate their ranking relative to others, even when someone else provides a better result.” ”

In the context of YouTube, this means giving “big news publishers confidential information” about how the algorithm works. It puts all other creators at a disadvantage and “would mean you could get fewer views and earn less.” ”

The next concern is that Google is forced to “tell media companies” how they can access “data about your use of our products.” “

There is no way of knowing if any transmitted data would be protected or how it could be used by news media companies.

Finally, Google says that these laws jeopardize the free nature of its services.

Google released a separate open letter to YouTubers in Australia criticizing how the law “prioritizes the traditional news industry over small content creators and the platforms they find audiences on. “. A specific argument is how news media companies can “demand large sums of money beyond what they earn on the platform”.

The company is working to make changes to the proposed legislation and will come up with ways for users to get involved in the coming days. Google Australia’s Twitter account updated its avatar with a yellow warning sign as part of the push.

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