Media Industry Pushes For Stronger Protections In News Media Bargaining Code

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Australia’s media industry has applauded the government’s move to act on the proposed News Media Bargaining Code before the end of the year.

Last week it was revealed by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg that the code – which is expected to see Google and Facebook forced to pay local media companies for news content – will likely come into effect before December 10.

In a joint statement signed by Nine CEO Hugh Marks, Seven West Media CEO James Warburton, News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller [feature image], 10 chief content officer Beverley McGarvey and others, the media industry attempted to dispel some of the myths around the code.

“It is a fact that the Code will not require the platforms to provide any additional user data to news media companies. The Code will not stop them from making changes to their algorithms, or require special treatment for news media businesses,” the note said.

Both Google and Facebook have previously complained about data sharing requirements in the draft code, which states the platforms should “make available user data collected through users’ interactions with news content”.

The joint statement also outlines a number of initiatives the media industry would like to see in the final code.

With the draft code suggesting compulsory arbitration should two parties be unable to come to an agreement, the media joint statement pushes for final offer arbitration.

“This clear and straightforward arbitration model limits incentives on each party to make ambit claims. This is a far more appropriate model than the more traditional slow and expensive arbitration approaches,” it says.

It also suggests the final Code should cover the full suite of products offered by Google and Facebook, such as Google Search and Instagram.

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