The Media Bargaining Code has been designed by the government and competition regulator to address a power imbalance between the social media giants and publishers when negotiating payment for news content used on the tech firms’ sites.
Australia has used competition law to draft the Media Bargaining Code, an approach the regulator has argued is much more effective than the copyright legislation being used in other jurisdictions, including the EU.
Under the code, news outlets will be required to negotiate commercial deals individually or collectively with Facebook and Google. If they cannot reach an agreement, an arbitrator will decide whose offer is more reasonable. If Facebook or Google break any resulting agreements, they can be fined up to A$10 million ($7.4 million) in civil penalties.
The law also requires tech firms to give media outlets notice when they change search algorithms in a way affecting the order in which content appears. They must also share their use of consumer data extracted from news content on their sites.
The proposed code will apply to Facebook and Google, although the regulator, which advised the government on the legislation, has said it’s likely other tech firms will be added.