Google sets up a paid-for Australian news platform

Photo: AP

The tech giant Google announced it would set a new platform in a bid to offset Australia’s claims related to payments for news contents from local sources, Reuters reported. The new Google platform will offer news it had paid for, promoting its own content deals with publishers and thus demonstrating that legal amendments proposed by Canberra to introduce payments is unnecessary.

The News Showcase platform has already rolled out in Brazil and Germany. Google has so far delayed plans when Canberra moved to make it a legal requirement for the search engine and Facebook to pay Australian media companies for content, unprecedented anywhere else in the world.

With the legislation now before a parliamentary inquiry, the launch of News Showcase in Australia will see it will pay seven domestic outlets to use their content. Financial details of the content deals weren’t disclosed. Google said it looked forward to striking agreements with more Australian publishers, whose position has been bolstered by Canberra’s aggressive push back against Facebook and Google.

“This provides an alternative to model put forward by the Australian government,” said Derek Wilding, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Media Transition. What remains to be seen is if larger publishers sign on to the product,” said Wilding. Last month Reuters said it had signed a deal with Google to be the first global news provider to Google News Showcase. Reuters is owned by news and information provider Thomson Reuters Corp.

Also last month Google and a French publishers’ lobby agreed to a copyright framework for the tech firm to pay news publishers for content online, in a first for Europe.

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