BRUSSELS, February 19 (Reuters) – Facebook has blocked people in Australia from accessing and sharing news content in a dispute with the government requiring it to share news revenue.
Jurisdictions around the world have enacted rules requiring Google, Facebook and others to share revenue with publishers, including a 2019 directive from Brussels which EU countries will enact into law in June.
So, is the EU likely to face a Facebook news ban similar to the one imposed in Australia? Not. Here are a few reasons:
EU COPYRIGHT RULES
Approved in 2019 to help Europe’s creative industry earn a fair share of revenue, EU copyright rules require Google and other online platforms to sign licensing agreements with musicians, artists, writers, news publishers and journalists to use their work.
The rules do not force online platforms to pay for links posted by publishers to their news sites, Facebook’s main complaint with the Australian government.
In France, which is one of the first EU countries to implement the new rules, news publishers have reached an agreement with Google which, according to the European Commission, the EU executive, is a clear sign that copyright rules are effective in leveling the playing field. .
The so-called Media Bargaining Code is based on Australia’s competition law, which underlines a tougher approach than the EU.
Facebook sought to relieve pressure from news publishers last month by launching Facebook News in the UK and listing new partners Channel 4 News, Daily Mail Group, DC Thomson, Financial Times, Sky News and Telegraph Media Group above other news outlets.
Now they are looking for French and German media companies before launching services in the two countries.
EUROPEAN MEDIA GROUP
European media groups, part of the driving force behind EU copyright rules, do not have the same influence and geographic scope as News Corp, which struck a global deal with Google on Wednesday.
Large companies such as Germany’s Bertelsmann and French group Vivendi dominate their national markets due to language and cultural differences across the block. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Timothy Heritage)