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Exclude YouTube from new media code: Google to Australia

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Google which has threatened to stop making Search platform available in Australia if the new media code gets the green signal, the tech giant has stressed that YouTube should be excluded from the News Media Bargaining Code.

Although the Australian government confirmed that YouTube will not be included as a designated service in the Code, Google thinks the Code is written leaves the door open for additional digital platforms to be added at any time.

“Several news businesses have advocated for YouTube’s inclusion in their Senate submissions. We will continue to make our case to the Australian Government on why YouTube should remain excluded from the Code,” the company said in a blog post on Sunday.

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Late last month, Google threatened to pull its Search engine from Australia if a proposed media bargaining code, that directs Google to pay news publishers, goes into effect.

“No longer making Search available is the last thing we want to have happen, and it’s a worst case scenario if the Code remains unworkable,” the company said.

Mel Silva, Managing Director for Google Australia, appeared at a public hearing of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee last week to address some key questions to clarify the company’s position on the Code.

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“The Code, as it’s written, would break the way Google Search works and the fundamental principle of the internet, by forcing us to pay to provide links to news businesses’ sites,” Google said in a fresh argument.

“The Code’s rules would undermine a free and open service that’s been built to serve everyone, and replace it with one where a law would give a handful of news businesses an advantage over everybody else”.

Rod Sims, chair of the watchdog Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), had said that Google and Facebook just don’t want the code to be implemented.

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“Google and Facebook like to do things on their terms. I think the code does what it’s intended to do. It is workable. It allows for a process of negotiation we’ve seen these sorts of things work in the past where you’ve got negotiate-arbitrate regimes, so I think this is just something Google and Facebook don’t want,” he was quoted as saying in media reports last week.

Facebook and Google have been engaged in a battle with the ACCC since August last year over the new media code.

–IANS

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