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Google, Facebook should pay publishers for news, says Microsoft

The United States should not oppose a proposed Australian code which requires Facebook and Google to pay news publishers, instead it should “copy it”, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith said in a blogpost — putting the company at odds with Google and Facebook. “As the 21st century began, the internet eroded the news business as dotcoms like Craigslist disrupted advertising revenue, news aggregators lured away readers, and search engines and social media giants devoured both,” Smith said. “But one thing is clear – the internet and social media have not been kind to the free press.” “What is wrong with compensating independent news organizations for the benefits the tech gatekeepers derive from this content?” Smith added. Citing the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, he said that there was a greater need for a strong press. In July last year, Australia released a draft News Media Bargaining Code, for consultation, which forces platforms like Facebook and Google to pay Australian news companies for their content. The code also requires platforms to give news companies nearly a month’s notice of any changes to its algorithms which may affect referral traffic to news sites, or those affecting rankings of paywalled news, and “substantial changes” to how news is displayed, and even advertising of news. Unsurprisingly, both Facebook and Google have pushed back against the code. While Facebook said that it would stop Australians from sharing news, Google went as far ahead to say that it would pull…

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