Teknoku.me – Google has threatened to suspend its internet search engine services across Australia. This threat surfaced after Australia drafted a bill called the News Media Bargaining Code law.
As compiled from The Verge, these laws require technology companies like Google to pay media organizations a sum of money for each news article that appears in Google Search snippets and links.
If the bill is passed, Google admits it has no other choice but to stop Google Search services in Australia.
“After looking at this law in detail and considering the financial and operational risks, we have found no alternative way to be able to continue to offer our services in Australia,” said Mel Silva, Vice President of Google Australia and New Zealand to the Australian Senate Economics Legislation Committee.
Responding to Google’s threat, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the law was made to regulate what can be done in Australia.
“We are grateful to the people who wanted to work with Australia. But we did not respond to threats,” said Morrison.
Google is adamant about rejecting the draft law because it is considered to have a very broad context. This Alphabet subsidiary believes that paying for content that appears on snippets or links on search engines will damage the work of the web.
Some parties agree with Google’s argument. One of them is the inventor of the world wide web (WWW), Tim Berners-Lee.
Lee said the law risks violating basic web principles by requiring payment for linking certain content online.
“The precedent of charging for links (news) and snippets is a fundamental threat to the open internet, not just Google,” said Scott Farquhar, co-founder of Australian technology company Atlassian, as compiled from the Google blog.
Because the context is too broad and considered threatening the work of the web, Google asked Australia to revise the draft law.
Google also offers an alternative to support media organizations and journalists, namely through Google News.
Google News is a news aggregator owned by Google. There, Google Search users can read various news articles from various news sites around the world.
Google has a global program called the News Showcase with an investment of up to 1 billion US dollars.
This program is dedicated to helping news organizations publish and promote their stories online for the next three years.
If they join the program, the media organization will be rewarded for their journalist expertise. There are currently nearly 450 media organizations in several countries around the world that have registered, including six broadcasters from Australia.
According to Google, with this alternative, Australia can still enforce the News Media Bargaining Code law but it is limited to Google News only, not Google Search as a whole.
In fact, the draft News Media Bargaining Code law not only targets Google, but also the popular social network Facebook.
Last month, Australia announced the law after an investigation found Google and Facebook dominate the media industry.
From the results of these investigations, Australia also suspects that Google is reaping large profits from online advertising, even though most of Google’s content comes from media organizations.
Australia thinks this poses a potential threat to democracy in its country.