OTTAWA – Justin Trudeau and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison have agreed to continue “coordinating efforts” to ensure the web giant’s revenue is shared more equitably with makers and the media, a statement Tuesday from Ottawa said.
The two prime ministers spoke on Monday on a variety of topics including the need to tackle online dangers and ask social media companies to pay for journalism, the statement said.
Canada and Australia’s growing cooperation on online platform regulation comes as Facebook steps back from a ban imposed last week that prevents Australians from viewing and sharing news on its platform.
The social media company announced Tuesday it would lift the ban, saying it had reached an agreement with the Australian government on a proposed law that would make the digital giants pay for journalism.
The statement from Ottawa signals Canada’s intention to follow Australia’s lead and comes after Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault last week promised to introduce laws that would force tech giants like Facebook to pay Canadian media companies for their content.
Facebook is alarmed by its sudden decision last week to block news on its platform across Australia after the House passed the bill.
The Facebook partnership is a huge win in Australia’s quest to create two main gateways to the internet, Google and Facebook, to pay for the journalism they use.
It’s a fight that governments and tech companies around the world have been closely watching.
Google also briefly threatened to remove its search functionality from Australia due to proposed legislation, but that threat has faded.
Facebook said it would now negotiate a deal with an Australian publisher.
Google, meanwhile, has listed Australia’s largest media company in content licensing deals through its News Showcase.
The platform says it has handled more than 50 Australian titles and more than 500 publishers worldwide are using the model, which launched in October.
– With files from The Associated Press.
The report by The Canadian Press was first published on February 23, 2021.
Facebook funds a fellowship that supports journalism’s position on The Canadian Press.
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