Blowtorch on Big Tech overdue but welcome
Making tech giants like Facebook and Google pay for the content they take from Australian journalists and creators is a welcome, albeit long overdue, move by the Morrison Government, the Greens say.
Greens Spokesperson for Media Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“Big tech giants have been ripping off Australians by taking content for free and making huge profits. It’s beyond time to put the blowtorch on Big Tech and make them pay for content they’ve been taking for free and pay proper taxes in this country.
“The Greens have been calling for Big Tech to have to pay for the content they take from Australian journalists and creators for many months.
“Finally the Government is doing something, albeit late and after much suffering for Australian media and creators. Waiting until November for tech giants and media companies to reach a deal was never going to cut it and would’ve seen more news outlets hit the wall.
“Australian media outlets were already under pressure because of this content theft before COVID-19, but the loss of advertising revenue during this crisis has been the last straw for many.
“The key issue now is what the code will look like and how it will be enforced. Other jurisdictions have been grappling with this issue and Australia must learn their lessons.
“Public interest journalism is vital for a robust democracy and Big Tech must be held to account if we are going to protect Australia’s right to know and Australian jobs.”
Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP said:
“If the government can force Google to pay Rupert Murdoch, they can make tech giants pay our authors and artists as well.
“People working in the arts and creative sectors regularly have tech giants use their work without remuneration, and now their sectors are hit hard by coronavirus too.
"Just as we need a media industry with fearless and independent reporting to ensure politicians and business leaders are accountable to the public, we need a well-paid arts and creative sector to sustain us through times of isolation and give our nation a voice.
"Whether it's printed on a newspaper, hung on a wall or piped through our speakers, content creators deserve to get paid for their work. Google's CEO doesn't work for free and neither should Australia's creators."