The Australian Parliament has passed a groundbreaking media law requiring digital platforms to pay news media for news content distributed through the platforms. As expected, the law received little opposition in parliament.

Facebook and Google, which the law specifically targets, have meanwhile concluded agreements with several Australian media organizations to prevent them from having to negotiate with publishers under stricter rules.

‘Public interest’

According to the Australian government, the law must ensure that news organizations are “fairly remunerated for the copy they generate, helping to preserve the public interest in journalism in Australia”.

Last week, an argument between Facebook and Australia about the proposal ran high when Facebook made it impossible for users in the country to read or share news via the platform. Facebook decided to reverse the blockade after the government in Canberra promised amendments to the bill.

Facebook has pledged to invest $ 1 billion (approximately EUR 822 million) in Australian news over the next three years. With this, the company wants to repair some of the image damage that Facebook was left with from the fight with the Australian government.