By Colin Packham CANBERRA (Reuters) – Tech giant Google launched a platform in Australia on Friday that delivers news that it has paid for, closing its own content deals with publishers in a bid to showcase Canberra’s proposed enforcement legislation. payments, a world first. unnecessary. Previously launched in Brazil and Germany, the News Showcase platform was originally scheduled for launch last June. But Google, owned by Alphabet (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc, delayed plans when Canberra moved to make it a legal requirement for Google and Facebook (NASDAQ 🙂 to pay Australian media companies for content, something unprecedented anywhere else. Place of the world. The tech firm, which still lobbies the Australian government in private meetings, has previously said the legislation was “unworkable” and would force it to pull out of the country entirely if implemented. With the legislation now before parliamentary investigation, Friday’s launch of the News Showcase in Australia will see it pay seven national outlets, including the Canberra Times, to use its content. Financial details of the content deals were not disclosed and Canberra Times publisher Australian Community Media did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Google said on Friday it hoped to strike deals with more Australian publishers, whose position has been reinforced by Canberra’s aggressive pushback of Facebook and Google. “This provides an alternative to the model proposed by the Australian government,” said Derek Wilding, professor at the Center for Media Transition at the Sydney University of Technology. “What remains to be seen is whether the larger publishers will sign up for the product,” Wilding said. Last month, Reuters said it had signed an agreement with Google to be the first global news provider for the Google News Showcase. Reuters is owned by news and information provider Thomson Reuters (NYSE 🙂 Corp. Also last month, Google and a lobby of French publishers agreed on a copyright framework for the technology company to pay news publishers for content. online, for the first time in Europe. Under Canberra’s proposed legislation, Google and Facebook would have to pay Australian publishers and broadcasters for content included in search results or in the news. If they couldn’t reach an agreement with the publishers, a government-appointed arbitrator would decide the price. While Google’s public stance on the possible exit from the country remains strong, Australia’s treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Google’s approach had been “constructive” in recent days during private meetings. “Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) and I and (Communications Minister) Paul Fletcher had a very constructive discussion with the head of Google yesterday,” Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne on Friday. “In that discussion … they re-engaged with Australia, we re-engaged [to the legislation]. “Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment on its contacts with the government.
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