News Media Bargaining Code: Ready to Vote for Any Party who Opposes this Bill.

News Media Bargaining Code: Ready to Vote for Any Party who Opposes this Bill.

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Axel Tracy started this petition to Scott Morrison (Prime Minister of Australia) and

Confirm your intention, by signing this petition, that you will not vote for any party that supports the News Media Bargaining Code, and will vote for any party that opposes it or kills it.

Any bill that could risk Australian's losing access to Google Search and news on Facebook needs to be stopped. There are 10,000s or possibly even 100,000s of Australian small businesses, researchers and students who rely on these services for their day-day lives, careers and businesses. The people and businesses who are downstream in the Google and Facebook supply chain/ecosystem are being ignored in this debate by the media and government (and that's anyone who has a website or online presence!).

This Draft Code is simply rent-seeking from big media like NewsCorp, Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media. They didn't adjust well to the disruption caused by the internet's development and now they're using their political muscle to squeeze money out of the businesses that did.

...But this battle may come at the expense of all Australian's losing access to critical services they've come to expect and enjoy using, let alone the segment of Australians who use these services for their livelihood (a far greater number that work in any commercial MSM office).

It's time to get involved. To get involved at the Ballot Box.

With the upcoming Federal Election (late 2021 or early 2022), it's time we let the political parties know that we care more about Google Search and Facebook than we do about Stokes, Murdoch, etc and definitely more than any politician.

Commit to voting against the News Media Bargaining Code at the next Federal Election. The more commitments that are made now, the more likely any party will take a position to oppose this code.

FYI: You may have heard the line that 'Google and Facebook are getting news content for free that they won't pay for'. But this is spin, and not the case. Google and Facebook are prepared to pay for news media content and are prepared to negotiate. It's important to note that any other website in Australia doesn't get paid to be listed online ...Most website's are just happy to appear! Google and Facebook are simply more concerned about the how the whole Draft Code is structured. For eg, the code indicates that:

  • Google and Facebook would be liable for up to $10m in penalties if they 'discriminated' against the big media players. I.e. Google and Facebook didn't want to show the media players content in the organic search results they provide to us. Google and Facebook will be effectively forced to show the organic results of these big media players ...and then pay them for this obligation?!?!
  • Google and Facebook would be forced to provide exclusive updates to the media players about their search algorithms, 28-days in advance. This advice on how to 'work' or 'game' the algorithm will only be provided to big media players who earn more than $150k per year in revenue. All other businesses on Google and all smaller independent media players will not get this exclusive algorithm update service.
  • Google and Facebook will have to provide big media players (remember the $150k threshold) information on the user data they collect and which of it can be made exclusively available to the same big media players.

And the three issues above don't even go into the detail of forced payments from Google and Facebook to the internet-laggard, big media players.

To do your own research, please check out more info from the ACCC itself, who developed the Draft Code: https://www.accc.gov.au/focus-areas/digital-platforms/news-media-bargaining-code

Would we accept it if Netflix had to pay a portion of its revenue to VideoEzy? How angry would we be if Netflix wasn't available to Australians because they wouldn't?

Would we accept it if Amazon had to pay a portion of its revenue to Harvey Norman? How angry would we be if Amazon wasn't available to Australians because they wouldn't?

Time to act. Time to show all politicians how seriously we take this, by letting them know that we'll change our vote on this issue.

Sign (and Share!) the petition now.

EDIT: While this petition was originally published from my own point of view as a small business owner who relies on and uses Google and Facebook services for the business, it's also important to note that this bill is also very bad for independent journalism ...and democracy! By creating a financial moat around the big media players, we are less likely to get journalism from independent Australian sources. The big players who receive the Google & Facebook payouts will be protected and end up as the gatekeepers to all our Australian news and political commentary in perpetuity. It will be much harder for independent or opposing views to break through the financial moat being given to the established players, and get these new voices heard and established themselves. This is bad for journalism going forward ...and when our political journalism is weak, so is our democracy.

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