By Tony Winterburn • 23 February 2021 • 8:55
Microsoft Agrees With Australia- Tech Giants Should Pay For News. image: Microsoft Press
Microsoft Agrees With Australia- Tech Giants Should Pay For News.
MICROSOFT has leaned on the side of the press in an escalating debate over whether tech giants should be forced to pay news organisations for content. The tech giant is backing an Australia-style system alongside Europe’s press publishers, in a bid to ensure they are fairly remunerated.
It follows Facebook’s decision to ban news from being shared on its platform in Australia last week, over a proposed law that would compel internet firms to pay news organisations. Facebook has now backtracked on that decision after a massive public backlash saw millions of users deleting their accounts.
The social network’s response has led to concern globally, including from the UK’s Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, who is expected to meet Facebook executives to discuss the matter further this week.
Taking inspiration from Australia, Microsoft, along with four EU news lobby groups, are calling for a mechanism to “mandate payments” and “to ensure that fair agreements are negotiated”.
Christian Van Thillo, chairman of the European Publishers Council, said: “We welcome Microsoft’s recognition of the value that our content brings to the core businesses of search engines and social networks because this is where Google and Facebook generate the vast majority of their revenues,”
“It is crucial that our regulators recognise this key point, and don’t get misled into thinking that side deals on the basis of a stand-alone product are the same thing, because they are not at all and undermine the neighbouring rights that we have been granted. All publishers should get an agreement – no-one should be left out.”
Microsoft is working with the European Publishers Council, News Media Europe, the European Magazine Media Association and the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association.
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